Particulate Monitoring, Power Generation, Pollutant Analysis Win Funding

Three New England-based companies will share nearly $210,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Small Business Innovation Research program, according to a Feb. 27 press release.

The companies are Active Spectrum, Inc. of Amherst, N.H., Fuss & O'Neill of Manchester, Conn., and Ion Signature Technology, Inc. of North Smithfield, R.I.

Active Spectrum, Inc. has been awarded $69,807 to develop its proposed sensor for monitoring of particulate emissions in diesel exhaust gases. This would be a new, low-cost soot sensor for on-board measurement of soot emissions in diesel exhaust gases. The proposed technology is differentiated from existing methods because of its exceptional sensitivity, high specificity to carbon particulates, and strength against deterioration by accumulated soot. Potential commercial applications of the real-time sensor include diesel emissions reductions by the control of the engine timing in response to sensor readings. Industrial applications include real-time monitoring of particulate emissions from boilers, power plants, and marine diesel engines.

Fuss & O'Neill will receive $70,000 for the development of electricity generation from anaerobic wastewater treatment in microbial fuel fells. New research with Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) technology has demonstrated an ability to extract chemical energy contained in wastewater and convert it to electrical power. Chemical energy extracted from wastewater carbohydrates has the potential, in theory, to convert wastewater treatment plants from huge power users to sources of electrical power. This effort achieves three of EPA's goals for wastewater facilities: reducing energy requirements, better managing energy use, and the cost-effective production and recover of green power.

Ion Signature Technology will receive $69,989 for the development of an in situ thermal extraction detection system (TEDS) for rapid, accurate, quantitative analysis of environmental pollutants in the subsurface. The goal of this technology is to provide data to better manage pollution site investigations and cleanup. TEDS would create a collection and analysis system that retrieves soil-bound pollutants as well as soluble and nonsoluble contaminants from groundwater. When the system is commercialized, it will "sniff" for the presence of pollutants; identify the pollutant, its location, and quantity.