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A Portable Spectrometer for the Accurate Determination of Arsenic in Waters (EPA 2002 SBIR Phase 1)
Investigator: Hakan Gurleyuk, PI, (206) 622-6960
Company: Frontier Geosciences, Inc., 414 Pontius Avenue, North, Seattle, WA 98109
Contract Information: EPA Contract Number: 68D02025
Period of Performance: Apr 1, 2002 - Sep 1, 2002
SBIR Funds: $70,000
Abstract: Frontier Geosciences, Inc., proposes to develop a portable field analyzer for the determination of low levels of arsenic in waters. The instrument will employ the principle of hydride generation-microplasma-atomic fluorescence spectrometry, and it is anticipated that the instrument will be able to analyze approximately 20 samples per hour, with detection limits of approximately 0.1 µg/L. The method will use a novel type of hydride-generation vessel, in which the hydride-generation reaction can be conducted in a closed atmosphere, thereby protecting the operator from arsine exposure. The arsines formed in the vessel will be swept into the microplasma atomization cell, where they decompose and then are detected by atomic fluorescence spectroscopy. The field analyzer will be operated using portable power generators and controlled by a laptop computer. Portable devices of this kind are specifically requested by EPA in their Small Business Innovation Research Request for Proposals for the year 2002, to eliminate the need to pack and ship samples to distant laboratories as well as to obtain real-time information at lower costs. In Phase I, Frontier Geosciences, Inc. proposes to build and optimize a prototype atomic fluorescence detector and the novel closed hydride-generation vessel. The two then will be coupled to determine the analytical performance characteristics of this technology, and the suitability of this instrument for field analysis will be demonstrated. In Phase II, a market-ready instrument will be designed that (after modifications) also may be suitable for arsenic speciation and for the field determination of other inorganic priority pollutants, such as mercury or selenium.