This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project addresses the analysis needs for monitoring perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in waste water. Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are bio-accumulative, extremely persistent and toxic; and there is a huge effort surrounding remediation of PFOA and PFOS contaminated areas. Considering the impacts on environment and public health, it is important to monitor PFOA and PFOS. Although there are established LC/MS/MS methods to measure them at low levels, this equipment is expensive and not generally field portable. This research aims at the development of a field and lab deployable ion-selective electrode that permits selective and fast measurement of PFOA and PFOS with a low detection limit at low cost. The project will take advantage of the highly selective and fouling-resistant fluorous membranes recently licensed from the University of Minnesota.

The broader impacts of this research are significant as the proposed sensor will provide a fast, easy, sample pretreatment free, selective and economical detection method for environmental monitoring, compliance and remediation efforts, which are currently hampered by costly and time consuming liquid extractions coupled with LC/MS. Additional broader impacts include expanded application of the sensor to measure the contaminant in blood, soil and food. Most importantly, these efforts are important and instructive to direct and monitor remediation and enable in-field research. We view this effort as an integral part of a wider effort to understand and reduce sources and pathways by which the persistent substance has become widespread in the environment.

Project Report

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project addresses the analysis needs for monitoring perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in waste water. PFOA and PFOS are ubiquitous environmental contaminants that have been found at low concentrations in waste water, drinking water, human blood, and in food. Because PFOA, PFOS and other perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are bio-accumulative, extremely persistent and toxic, several states have established analytical methods and emission limits. Furthermore, there is a huge effort surrounding remediation of PFOA and PFOS contaminated areas. Considering the impacts on both the environment and public health, it is important to monitor PFOA and PFOS. Although there are established LC/MS/MS methods to measure PFOA and PFOS at low levels, this equipment is expensive and not generally field portable. This research aims at the development of a field and lab deployable ion-selective electrode that permits selective and fast measurement of PFOA and PFOS with a low detection limit at low cost. The project will take advantage of the highly selective and fouling-resistant fluorous membranes recently licensed from the University of Minnesota. This SBIR Phase I proposal is submitted under the Environmental Technologies subtopic related to Water Monitoring and Treatment. The broader impacts of this research are significant as the proposed sensor will provide a fast, easy, sample pretreatment free, selective and economical detection method for environmental monitoring, compliance and remediation efforts. Currently, these efforts are hampered by costly and time consuming liquid extractions coupled with LC/MS. This research aims to produce a device that will significantly lower the barriers to testing. Additional broader impacts include expanded application of the sensor to measure the contaminant in blood, soil and food. Most importantly, these efforts are important and instructive to direct and monitor remediation and enable in-field research. We view this effort as an integral part of a wider effort to understand and reduce sources and pathways by which the persistent substance has become widespread in the environment.

Agency
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Institute
Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP)
Type
Standard Grant (Standard)
Application #
1113251
Program Officer
Gregory T. Baxter
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2011-07-01
Budget End
2011-12-31
Support Year
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$149,899
Indirect Cost
Name
United Science LLC
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Center City
State
MN
Country
United States
Zip Code
55012