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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/M34157/01
Title: NEW SENSOR SYSTEM FOR MONITORING SOLVENT MIGRATION FROM CONTAMINATED SITES
Principal Investigator: Williams, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Barker, Professor JA Burgess, Dr WG Abraham, Professor H
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Capteur Sensors & Analysers Ltd P. P. M. Ltd
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 February 1999 Ends: 31 January 2001 Value (£): 103,454
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Assess/Remediate Contamination
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Environment
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The need is to monitor solvent dispersion and migration from contaminated land and in ground water. The problem is that conventional GC systems need constant attention, and are too expensive to deploy in a fixed, dense network for site monitoring. The research opportunity is for a miniature, very inexpensive instrument suitable for deployment in a dense network to monitor volatile organic pollutant dispersion in the shallow sub-surface. Analytical performance is traded against cost and size; modern gas sensor technology and computational and system control methods mean that a useful trade-off can indeed be achieved. The method is particularly useful for chlorinated hydrocarbons and similar solvents.We propose a system in which species present in air drawn through the soil or water are accumulated onto a suitably chosen absorbent and then detected and identified by temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) and use of a gas-sensor array device. We propose to implement TPD with a small absorbent bed and miniature heater to achieve a small, robust, reliable and portable device, and use the sensor technology and computational and system control methods to overcome the poor separation obtained in conventional thermal desorption methods from a small bed.
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