Inexpensive Low Power Nano-Sensor Based Measurement of Fugitive Methane Emissions

EPA Contract Number: EPD17034
Title: Inexpensive Low Power Nano-Sensor Based Measurement of Fugitive Methane Emissions
Investigators: Carter, Michael T.
Small Business: KWJ Engineering, Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018
Project Amount: $99,989
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2017) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Air and Climate


The proposed EPA SBIR Phase I program will create a novel ultra low power and low cost microfabricated CH4 sensor. The initial developments of sensor technology will serve the EPA mission of identifying fugitive methane emissions, and subsequently the very large methane/ natrual gas leak and safety market that has been identified by KWJ and its collaborators. Phase I is dedicated to design, fabrication and testing of the innovative system consisting of a unique MEMS sensor, discreet electronic components and proprietary "smart" algorithm. Phase II will construct and beta test several prototypes and Phase III will be supported by commercialization activities. This program is important to overall greenhouse gas monitoring and contributing to the effort around the world to curb man-made effects on the climate. Further, the sensor itself is "green" because it uses far less and fewer materials, and provides substantial power saving because it uses 10-100 times less power over current CH4 sensors. Because of the small size of the sensor, it also has a response time measured in microseconds with improved sensitivity. Additional applications will be possible for the basic science and engineering advancements made in this SBIR effort. Synergy and leveraging with existing KWJ projects and technology capabilities will help make rapid progress. This work also has significant advancement over state-of-the-art. Since this work is in the mainstream of KWJ's core competence and market strategies, it will have high priority within the company.

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report