Spark Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy for Detection of Metals in Groundwater and Soil

EPA Contract Number: 68D98130
Title: Spark Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy for Detection of Metals in Groundwater and Soil
Investigators: Hunter, Amy J.R.
Small Business: Physical Sciences Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1998 through March 1, 1999
Project Amount: $69,990
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , SBIR - Monitoring , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Efforts to remediate hazardous waste sites contaminated with metal pollutants are hampered by measurement practicalities. Development of a remediation strategy requires that the extent of the pollution be identified and the degree of contamination determined. Although field instrumentation is available for the field screening of samples for a variety of volatile organic compounds, field monitors for metals are not widely utilized. The price, insensitivity and immature technology of the few that are available prohibits their widespread use, and in most cases, limits sample analysis to off- site laboratories. Such analysis is expensive and time consuming. In this SBIR project, Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) will extend the use of a proven methodology, spark-induced breakdown spectroscopy (SIBS), to the measurement of lead in water and soil matrices. This technology has already been used for the analysis of airborne lead particulate in firing ranges as well as for lead and chromium in the metal-laden exhaust of a hazardous waste incinerator. PSI also has used this patented technology to identify and quantify other metals and radionuclides in a dry aerosol calibration system. Successful Completion of this Phase I effort will provide the ground work for a simple, inexpensive and sensitive field measurement device for lead in soil and water based on SIBS.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, monitoring, analytical, engineering, remediation, EPA., Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Remediation, Chemistry, Monitoring/Modeling, Analytical Chemistry, Groundwater remediation, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, lead, detect, soils, field monitoring, analyzer, soil, measurement, water quality, spark-induced breakdown spectroscopy (SIBS), innovative technologies, groundwater

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report
  • SBIR Phase II:

    Field Screening Detector for Metals in Soil