InnovaTek Funded to Develop Air Quality Sensor


RICHLAND, WA - InnovaTek has received a $100,000 Phase I STTR Contract from the Department of Energy (DOE) for technology that will be used to chemically characterize the atmosphere. Partnering with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), InnovaTek will develop technology to measure organic matter in vapor and particulate phases at very low concentrations.

Because of their impacts on human health and climate change there is a growing need to develop measurement capabilities sensitive enough to measure the composition of organics in the atmosphere. Such measurements will help identify their sources and environmental impacts.

Recognizing the need to better characterize and quantify the organic aerosol as a dynamic system of vapor and condensed phase species, InnovaTek and PNNL will develop a true aerosol mass spectrometer for on-line analysis of both gas phase and particulate phase organics. InnovaTek will couple its electrostatically enhanced inertial precipitator with an advanced mass spectrometer at PNNL to produce the novel technology.

“The ultimate result of this project will be a small field portable aerosol mass spectrometer capable of on-line quantification of both gas and particulate phase organics,” said Vladimir Mikheev, Principal Investigator for the project. Better measurement technologies for rapid, in-situ analysis of carbonaceous aerosols is a critical need for DOE research programs in climate change, clean vehicle technology, and clean coal technology.

Fast, sensitive, on-line analysis techniques allow atmospheric aerosol formation and loss processes to be studied in-situ, and allow for more robust statistical relationships to be drawn between particle composition and particle microphysical properties important to climate change research. The sources and composition of carbonaceous particles is an important area of research in atmospheric science that ultimately has an impact on public policy decisions regarding regional air quality and global climate change.