Field Screening Detector for Metals in Soil

EPA Contract Number: 68D00204
Title: Field Screening Detector for Metals in Soil
Investigators: Hunter, Amy J.R.
Small Business: Physical Sciences Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: II
Project Period: September 1, 2000 through September 1, 2002
Project Amount: $224,990
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (2000) Recipients Lists
Research Category: 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 has to be identified, and the degree of contamination has to be determined. Although instrumentation is available for the field-screening of samples for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), metals field monitors are not widely available. Based on the success of the Phase I project, Physical Sciences, Inc. (PSI), proposes to complete the development of a spark-induced breakdown spectroscopy (SIBS) system as a practical field instrument for the measurement of metals in soil. In Phase II, PSI will complete and test a miniaturized prototype device and extend the measurement method from lead only to another metal (Cd). The Phase II option will be used for method validation tasks.

Successful completion of this Phase II project will result in field-ruggedization. PSI envisions a final instrument that will serve as a simple and inexpensive field screening device for metals in soils. This instrument has a cost goal of less than $15K and will enable rapid site characterization by minimizing the number of samples sent offsite to analytical laboratories.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, monitoring, analytical, remediation, engineering, chemistry, EPA., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Waste, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Chemical Engineering, Remediation, HAPS, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Monitoring, Hazardous Waste, 33/50, Environmental Engineering, Engineering, Hazardous, cadmium & cadmium compounds, Lead Compounds, detect, lead & lead compounds, lead, metal detection, field monitoring, soils, soil, cadmium, metals

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final

  • SBIR Phase I:

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