A Portable Spectrometer for the Accurate Determination of Arsenic in Waters

Period of Performance: 01/01/2002 - 12/31/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Frontier Geosciences Inc.
414 Pontius Avenue N
Seattle, WA 98109
Principal Investigator


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 ¿g/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 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (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.