SBIR Phase I: Sensors for indoor air quality

Period of Performance: 01/01/2011 - 12/31/2011

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Dioxide Materials
3998 FAU Boulevard Unit 300
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to develop a miniature gas chromatography system that can detect pollutants in homes and businesses and interface to an HVAC system for indoor air quality (IAQ) control. The device will use air as a carrier gas, and will be priced so it is affordable in the home environment. The Phase I effort will concentrate on the columns and detectors for the systems. The goal of the Phase I project is to create a new class of GC columns than can be manufactured for less than $1/meter, compared to $20/meter presently charged. The project will also develop new reversible nano-tube detectors based on a newly discovered process entitled current stimulated desorption. The broader/commercial impacts of this research are addressing the concern that homes and businesses contain toxic substances such as formaldehyde, toluene, microbial contaminants (mold, bacteria), and volatile organic compounds. These pollutants can be a serious health hazard. Dioxide Materials, Inc. is working with the world's largest producer of HVAC systems, and HVAC controls. The idea is to include a pollutant detector as part of the HVAC controls and adjust ventilation rates and make other changes if pollutants are detected. It is projected that this will be a substantial market if the technical risks are overcome. The devices will also have considerable application in the analytical chemistry market. Dioxide Materials, Inc. expects to be able to reduce the cost of a GC column by an order of magnitude. That will open many new applications.