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Sbir Phase I: Laser Assisted Nanotechnology-Sensor For Cost Effective Use In Fish Processing To Determine Mercury Levels In Fish Flesh Or Other Substances

Investigators
Schwartz, Anne M
Institutions
Dahl Natural
Start date
2011
End date
2011
Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will substantially and rapidly increase environmental and food safety by testing the feasibility of using carbon nano-tube covered sensors to electrochemically detect the amount of mercury in substances such as water or fish, by vaporizing a small spot of the substance to determine mercury levels in each sample as it is being processed. The resulting technology will be expanded to detect the amount of other heavy metals and commercialized. The effects of methyl mercury on human health are devastating. This work enables Dahl Natural to bridge the gap for real-time, remote, automated heavy metal testing. The broader commercial impacts of this research are to enable access to real-time, low cost, accurate measurement of heavy metals in food, water and other substances to 500ppt/L sensitivity. This work will eliminate many unique challenges of in-situ measurement so processes and strategies can be developed to reduce heavy metal contamination. This technology is needed by industries, researchers, government agencies, Tribal groups, and addresses a $1 billion market. Testing takes 2-3 minutes and data from the device can be printed for bar codes, tags or sent electronically to a data base. The cost-savings of this technology is $150.00 per test, estimated at <$1.00 per metal tested.

Funding Source
United States Nat'l. Science Fndn.
Project number
1047444
Categories
Heavy Metals
Natural Toxins
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants