Nanocomposite Sensor Array for the Detection of Multiple Toxic Air Pollutants

EPA Contract Number: 68D01035
Title: Nanocomposite Sensor Array for the Detection of Multiple Toxic Air Pollutants
Investigators: Deininger, Debra J.
Small Business: Nanomaterials Research Corporation
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: April 1, 2001 through September 1, 2001
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , SBIR - Monitoring , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


This proposal is intended to develop a low-cost, sensitive, and selective sensor array for the detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In particular, the final sensor array will detect a subset of VOCs from the Toxic Air Pollutants List. This subset of VOCs is based on those toxics identified as having the greatest negative impact on public health, also known as the Urban Air Toxics Strategy List. Exposure to these VOCs is linked to significant health risks because these chemicals are carcinogens and developmental, reproductive, neurological, and/or respiratory toxicants. The ability to accurately and reliably quantify VOC emissions from industrial processes can lead to control and reduction of these emissions, resulting in a significant environmental benefit.

Nanomaterials Research Corporation's sensor array will use the principles of the well-known solid-state resistive sensor; however, the sensor will be based on the proprietary nanocomposite sensor technology developed by the company. Temperature modulation techniques will be combined with variations in materials chemistry to form an array device that will be sensitive and selective. The Phase I objective will focus on demonstrating the ability of the sensor to discriminate between two or more organic species using temperature modulation techniques and a subset of four VOCs. Phase II will expand the technology to all of the Urban Air Toxics Strategy VOCs.

The anticipated markets for these sensors are instrument-manufacturing companies. The commercial potential for gas sensors exceeds approximately $175 million per year in the environmental health and safety monitoring industry alone. Due to its cost and performance benefits, the proposed sensor array technology is likely to acquire a significant portion of the VOC sensor market.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, monitoring, volatile organic compounds, VOCs, emissions, engineering, chemistry, EPA, air pollution, Toxic Air Pollutants List, sensor., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, air toxics, Chemistry, VOCs, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Monitoring, tropospheric ozone, Atmospheric Sciences, Environmental Engineering, air pollutants, stratospheric ozone, detect, ambient air, air pollution, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), sensor, measurement methods

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report