Particulate and Vapor State Metallic Emissions Monitor

EPA Contract Number: 68D70046
Title: Particulate and Vapor State Metallic Emissions Monitor
Investigators: McNeill, Donald H.
Small Business: EEI
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1997 through March 1, 1998
Project Amount: $69,795
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , SBIR - Monitoring , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The Clean Air Act of 1990 has raised the concern over trace concentrations of metals in flue gas from electrical generation plants, municipal waste incinerators, and heavy industrial plants. Monitoring will be required to determine the environmental impact and offers an opportunity to empirically minimize it. In flue gas, metals are found in both the vapor state and condensed on fly ash. For species other than mercury, the metals are predominantly on fly ash particles. This Phase I project will develop an ultrasensitive continuous monitor for trace metals such as Cd, Cr, As, Se, and Pb captured on fly ash particles. Detection limits below 1 µg/m3 for gaseous phase mercury have been attained by emission spectroscopy using EEI's innovative microwave plasma source. Similar sensitivities should be attainable for other metals in the vapor phase with this detector. Detection of solid fly ash particles at levels equivalent to approximately 1 µg/m3 will be achieved by using a filter-heating element assembly in the gas flow close to the plasma. When heated for short times to temperatures above 1,000 K, an elevated concentration of metals trapped in the fly ash will be released into the plasma discharge for spectroscopic detection. A successful Phase I program will provide a new continuous monitor capable of measuring absolute concentrations of metals in both the vapor phase and on the fly ash in industrial flue gas and air streams with a time resolution of approximately 30 seconds and concentrations of approximately 1 µg/m3.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, air emissions, monitoring, engineering, chemistry., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, particulate matter, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, HAPS, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Monitoring, 33/50, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Environmental Engineering, vapor metallic emissions, particulate, cadmium & cadmium compounds, chromium & chromium compounds, Lead Compounds, continuous monitoring, lead, particulate metallic emissions, lead & lead compounds, Arsenic Compounds (inorganic including arsine), fly ash, flue gas, metallic emissions, web site development, Selenium Compounds, fly ash particles, Chromium Compounds, Cadmium Compounds

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final