Wireless Networked Sensors in Water for Heavy Metal Detection Email Page
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Performer:  NanoSonic, Inc. Location:  Pembroke, VA
Project Duration:  06/08/2015 – 07/31/2019 Award Number:  SC0013811
Technology Area:  Plant Optimization Technologies Total Award Value:  $1,150,000
Key Technology:  Water Management R&D DOE Share:  $1,150,000
Performer Share:  $0

Wireless sensor node (left);<br/>Wireless transmission modules (right)
Wireless sensor node (left);
Wireless transmission modules (right)

Project Description

Heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, chromium, mercury, and cadmium have attracted a great deal of attention around the world for their impact on human health. To allow efficient monitoring of Resource Recovery and Conservation Act heavy metal levels for water in power generation facilities, a precise, mobile, and highly sensitive measuring instrument is required. Traditional systems are usually costly and bulky, so not suitable for widescale deployment for the mapping of heavy metals. NanoSonics's proposed wireless nanomembrane-based ChemFET heavy metal sensors instead offer significantly improved chemical sensitivity and selectivity, combined with the wireless communication of data from multiple small and disposable sensors to fixed or mobile receivers. The nanomembrane structure combined with NanoSonic's patented self-assembly processing approach allow a unique way to tune sensitivity and selectivity. Multiple sensor devices can be configured in a small, lightweight and low cost array to analyze multiple sensor targets simultaneously. They can be used as in-situ sensors attachable for permanent installation or portable inspection in a field. In Phase I, NanoSonic will develop these wireless sensors for use in the analysis of heavy metal chemistry for power generation facilities, and more broadly for commercial use. NanoSonic will first fabricate prototype nanomembrane ChemFET sensor elements, then design and synthesize chemical-specific ionophores for the selective detection of targeted heavy metal elements. The performance of prototype sensor devices will then be demonstrated. NanoSonic will work with a local environmental monitoring company to explore field use requirements.

Project Benefits

Project success will allow efficient monitoring of heavy metals for environmental surveillance in water, location of pollution sources using analysis from concentration gradients, and detection and mapping of chemical concentrations that are potentially harmful to people and/or destructive to agriculture.

Presentations, Papers, and Publications

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager Jessica Mullen: jessica.mullen@netl.doe.gov
Technology Manager Briggs White: briggs.white@netl.doe.gov
Principal Investigator Hang Ruan: HRuan@nanosonic.com