Compact, Cost-Effective Nitrogen Dioxide Analyzer for NAAQS Compliance Monitoring

EPA Contract Number: EPD11049
Title: Compact, Cost-Effective Nitrogen Dioxide Analyzer for NAAQS Compliance Monitoring
Investigators: Gupta, Manish
Small Business: Los Gatos Research Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: March 1, 2011 through August 31, 2011
Project Amount: $79,965
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2011) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Air Pollution , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


In this SBlR effort, Los Gatos Research (LGR) proposes to employ incoherent Cavity Ringdown Spectroscopy (iCRDS) to develop a compact, cost-effective nitrogen dioxide (NO2) analyzer for National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) compliance monitoring. This portable instrument will provide rapid (1 Hz), highly accurate (to better than ± 1 ppbv) quantification of NO2 with minimal calibration or consumables gases. Moreover, due to the inherent benefits of iCRDS, the analyzer will be selective, robust, and economical. The resulting instrument will allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revise the current NO2 monitoring network and meet compliance with the recent, more stringent NAAQS outlined in the Clean Air Act.

In Phase I, LGR will demonstrate technical feasibility by fabricating a visible iCRDS system optimized for NO2 quantification in ambient air. The prototype, which will include autonomous, periodic measurements of NO2-free air using an integrated chemical scrubber, will be thoroughly laboratory tested on diluted, certified standard samples to determine its accuracy, precision, dynamic range, linearity, time response, and long-term stability. Further testing will evaluate the instrument’s response to environmental factors, including fluctuations in temperature and humidity. The instrument then will be delivered to the University of Maryland for direct intercomparison to a NOAA photolytic chemiluminescence analyzer. Subsequent to these validation studies, the Phase I sensor will be deployed aboard LGR’s mobile laboratory platform to monitor NO2 concentrations at several urban sites. Finally, the Phase I results will be used to design a Phase II prototype.

In Phase II, LGR will develop and deliver two complete, autonomous NO2 analyzers for NAAQS compliance monitoring. The first analyzer will be optimized for terrestrial applications and will be deployed near major roadways in urban centers, proximate to an analyzer in EPA’s current NO2 monitoring network. The second instrument will be developed for airborne applications and deployed in conjunction with the University of Maryland. LGR also will provide complete documentation and training for both Phase II prototypes.

During Phase III, LGR will sell the NO2 analyzer to EPA Regional Administrators for integration into the NO2 compliance monitoring network. The SBIR Work Plan will be structured so that the commercialization effort will be concurrent with the Phase II tasks, thus meeting EPA’s January 1, 2013, deadline for analyzer deployments. Additionally, LGR will market the SBIR analyzer for industrial process control applications and scientific research.

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report