Home Ozone Monitor Incorporating Low Cost High Performance Printed Gas Sensors

Period of Performance: 04/13/2012 - 09/30/2013


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

KWJ Engineering, Inc.
NEWARK, CA 94560
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The overall goal of this SBIR Phase I program is to demonstrate application of a new class of gas sensor under development by KWJ Engineering, Inc. (KWJ) to ozone monitoring and to implement this next generation technology in a home ozone alarm. This Phase I program is directly related to the mission of NIEHS, which addresses reduction of the burden of human disease and dysfunction arising from environmental causes. Our aim for this new technology is to target key applications critical to personal health and safety, in the home and in the workplace. We will demonstrate the application of this new gas sensor, a small format screen printed electrochemical sensor, for development of a home ozone (O3) alarm for individuals with respiratory diseases and all those concerned about their exposure to ozone. This alarm will help those with respiratory conditions to manage their health by alerting them to ozone conditions that may exacerbate respiratory problems or be dangerous to health and life. Over 118 million people in the United States live in areas of nonattainment of the EPA 8 hour ozone standard. The potential for development of asthma and other respiratory conditions, as well as the aggravation of existing respiratory conditions and the health dangers associated with these effects in such high ground level ozone areas calls for a practical home ozone monitor for health protection. KWJ's new class of amperometric gas sensor, the screen-printed electrochemical sensor (SPEC), promises to deliver high performance gas sensing for a wide range of applications at commodity-level prices. These devices, which are about the size of a micro-SD cell phone card, are able to use a variety of conventional and developmental electrolytes. This provides unprecedented access to a wide range of tunable selectivity, sensitivity and robustness to environmental conditions compared to conventional amperometric gas sensors. This is a new, cost-competitive and high performance technology that bridges the cost-performance gap for applications using gas sensors. The Phase I program will involve fabrication and testing of SPEC devices using a variety of components directed at obtaining high performance for ozone detection. After selection of the best configuration for detecting ozone under relevant environmental conditions, the sensor will be demonstrated as an alarm actuator for the home ozone monitor. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Development of new, next generation, high performance, low cost gas sensing technologies for ozone will make gas sensing more widely available for health and safety protection. The proposed program will provide a new, powerful screen printed gas sensor format with improved performance compared to currently available ozone sensors. These sensors will form the heart of a home ozone alarm to help protect the health of people with respiratory conditions living in high ground level ozone areas.