High Surface-Area Metal Oxide Sorbent for Sampling and Infrared Detection of Water Contaminants

Period of Performance: 09/29/2010 - 03/29/2011


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Nanoscale Materials, Inc.
1310 Research Park Drive
Manhattan, KS 66502
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Vermont
33 Colchester Ave, 201 Votey Bldg
Burlington, VT 05405
Institution POC


Detection and identification of toxic chemical in water is vital for various military, environmental, and industrial applications. Specifically, the Joint Services have a need for rapid detection of trace levels of chemical contamination in water systems. This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I project will focus on the development of a novel detection system for sampling and identification of toxic pollutants in water. The proposed system will be built around single use sensor tubes containing a high surface area metal oxide sorbent with dual purpose: (1) to adsorb, concentrate, and preserve chemical compounds from water passing through the tube, and (2) to allow Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy detection of adsorbed species with sufficient reliability and sensitivity. NanoScale Corporation is uniquely qualified to conduct the proposed program since it has successfully developed scalable and economical manufacturing methods and then commercialized nanocrystalline metal oxides for various applications. NanoScale products have demonstrated high effectiveness in the capture of numerous toxic compounds including chemical warfare agents. The proposed STTR Phase I will be a joint effort between NanoScale and Prof. Christopher Landry s research group at the University of Vermont (UVM), who will serve as the research institution collaborator. Prof. Landry is an expert in synthesis of inorganic materials, including mesoporous sorbents.