Low Cost In-Situ NMR Technologies for Monitoring Biological and Geochemical Processes in the Subsurface

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


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Vista Clara Inc.
12201 Cyrus Way Suite 104
Mukilteo, WA 98275
Principal Investigator


This proposal addresses the problem of long term mapping and monitoring of subsurface geochemical and microbial activity associated with the transport and remediation of subsurface contaminants, including radionuclides and metals. The ability to map and monitor bioremediation processes in the near subsurface, in a cost effective way, is essential to the remediation and long-term stewardship of DoE sites, as well as other sites of national significance. We propose to develop low-cost, low field in-situ NMR probes and portable integrated surface instrumentation to enable long-term monitoring of bioremediation processes and biogechemical changes in the subsurface. We also propose to develop and demonstrate NMR measurement techniques to directly detect and assess: a) the growth of biofilms in the subsurface, b) precipitation and biofouling due to bioremediation, and c) changes in iron mineralogy and subsurface redox conditions due to bioremediation processes. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The proposed NMR instrumentation and measurement techniques will be broadly applicable to a wide variety of radionuclide, metal and organic contaminants including uranium, chromium and certain dense non-aqueous phase liquids. Hence the proposed NMR instrumentation and interpretation methods will benefit remediation efforts in industry as well as the government sector