SBIR: Particle Sorting Via Aerodynamic Jet Vectoring

Period of Performance: 08/15/2006 - 02/14/2008

$115K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Castlerock Engineering, Inc.
Logan, UT 84341
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long term goal of this research is to develop and commercialize an Aerodynamic Vectoring Particle Sorter (AVPS) for use as the next generation air sample concentrator for the primary purpose of environmental hazard monitoring. To accomplish this goal, the specific aim of this Phase 1 STTR project is to evaluate the technical and commercial feasibility of applying aerodynamic vectoring to particle sorting/concentrating in air. The overall research plan consists of 3 major activities: 1) a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study conducted to optimize aerodynamic flow vectoring parameters in air, 2) a set of experimental measurements, using state-of-the-art particle image tracking techniques, performed to verify CFD results and physically demonstrate the capabilities of AVPS, and 3) a comprehensive market study, focused at gathering capability and requirement data on currently available air sample concentrators and conducted to provide a standard against which the technical and commercial feasibility of an AVPS device can be assessed. The key innovation of AVPS technology is the ability to sort/concentrate a wide range of particle sizes using a single device without impact or contact of device surfaces. An AVPS device will present a faster, more reliable, more economical and less obtrusive means of sorting/concentrating air samples than is currently available. Using AVPS, the potential exists for smaller, more efficient sorting devices that operate over a wide flow rate range. In addition to environmental hazard monitoring, it is anticipated that AVPS will find application in the production of nanomaterials and carbon fibers, and in cell sorting/removal processes, where non-contact sorting methods are extremely advantageous. Aerodynamic Vectoring Particle Sorter (AVPS) technology stands to mark a substantial improvement in particle sorter design and capabilities. Using the AVPS method, faster, smaller, more reliable, more economical, and more flexible airborne sample sorting and concentration devices are possible. This research will directly benefit public health through the development and commercialization of a product that will significantly improve existing capabilities to monitor and detect of airborne environmental hazards.