Multi Air Pollutant Lab-On-a-Chip (MAPLOC)

EPA Contract Number: EPD15039
Title: Multi Air Pollutant Lab-On-a-Chip (MAPLOC)
Investigators: Singh, Mahendra
Small Business: Waddan Systems LLC
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2015 through February 29, 2016
Project Amount: $100,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2015) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Air and Climate


Toxic air pollutants, also known as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), are those pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental effects. In today's environment, there are continuing problems associated with the environmental effects of multiple pollutant gas released to the air. This concern over the environmental and health risks associated with the emission of HAPs and various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from different sources has led to a pressing need for affordable and reliable ways to detect and quantify the presence of these gases. Towards this goal, Waddan Systems proposes to develop a silicon carbide nanowire array–based multiple air pollutant detector (MAPLOC). MAPLOC is a MEMS device capable of detecting multiple hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds. The device employs silicon carbide nanowires in combination with a self-assembled layer of organic molecules for the sensor development. The system incorporates ZigBee wireless and USB interfacing capability. The ZigBee transceiver chip in the sensor provides wireless measurement. MAPLOC offers a lower cost, reliable design for simultaneous detection of multiple air pollutants.
This facilitates enabling remediation efforts that will minimize air pollutant release into the atmosphere as well as the associated health and environmental risks.
Successful commercialization of the MAPLOC technology will allow designers to place air pollution sensors for leak detection and air quality monitoring. Primary applications include: (1) emissions monitoring in smokestacks and exhaust streams of chemical, pharmaceutical, and power-generating plants and refineries; (2) leak detection and process control near industrial machinery and processes with potential hazardous emissions; and (3) monitoring a wide range of source locations in and around industrial facilities. This shows the potential market size of MAPLOC sensor systems. The MAPLOC will bring significant improvements in the detection and monitoring of hazardous air pollutants and will help environmental regulatory agencies fulfill their mission to protect human health and safeguard the natural environment. The gas sensor market, in general is in a growth phase, and the size of the market is expected to reach $80.6 million in 2014, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5 percent for the period 2005-2014. (Source: Frost and Sullivan Report, titled, “North American Gas Sensors and Gas Analyzers Markets,” 2007).

Supplemental Keywords:

Optical sensor, pollutant sensor, greenhouse gas (GHG), MEMS, wireless sensor, air and climate, lab-on-a-chip sensors, hazardous air pollutants, volatile organic compounds

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report