Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

University of Nevada, Reno invents next-gen device to track world's air quality

30.03.2011
New device licensed for commercial development through technology transfer office

A new air-quality measuring instrument invented by Pat Arnott and Ian Arnold of the University of Nevada, Reno that is more economical, more portable and more accurate than older technologies has been licensed for commercial development by Droplet Measurement Technologies of Boulder, Colo.

Arnott, a physics professor in the University's College of Science, had perhaps lugged his heavy pieces of equipment one too many times through airports to faraway places to examine airborne particles. Now, his and Arnold's latest invention has reduced the laser-equipped air-monitoring equipment to suitcase size, while enhancing its measurement capabilities.

This latest, compact version of the photoacoustic particle measuring machine with its lasers, mirrors, flexible tubes, wires and relays is also cheaper and faster and should be an attractive alternative for users.

"This machine will be much more ubiquitous for measuring air quality, or more precisely, black carbon in the air, or a number of other uses," Arnott said. "Key component cost and instrument weight have dropped from $2,000 and 180 pounds to $40 and 20 pounds. This will make it more accessible to researchers, businesses and government agencies; and much easier when traveling around the world to gather data."

Over the past 12 years, Arnott, along with collaborators from the Desert Research Institute, have mapped air pollution on Los Angeles freeways, as well as in Mexico City, the rain forests of Brazil, Vancouver, B.C., and Big Bend National Park, to name a few locations. They have also worked 1,600 feet underground in an active Nevada gold mine to monitor air quality.

Arnott's invention is an improvement on earlier technology he developed with partners. Arnott, John Walker and Hans Moosmüller, all at the time with DRI, commercialized the first version of the instrument with Droplet Measurement Technologies in 2005.

The University of Nevada, Reno's Tech Transfer Office, worked out the deal with DMT to commercialize the technology.

"The new device is a smaller, less expensive photoacoustic instrument for measuring airborne particles related to air quality that makes it affordable for a broader range of uses and it promises to lead to much wider market adoption of photoacoustic technology," said Ryan Heck, director of the University's Tech Transfer Office. "Pat and DMT have worked together for years, and we were pleased to help facilitate a new product based on their collaboration."

Arnott and DMT have already built beta-versions of the device that are in use by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley Labs and the Bay Area Air Quality District, at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Europe and in locations in Mexico City. Droplet is working to produce many more that will be a fraction of the cost to users.

"We're pleased to have entered into the licensing agreement," John Lovett, CEO of Droplet said. "Pat is a leading scientist in applying photo-acoustic technology to aerosols and has partnered with DMT on developing research-grade scientific instruments for air quality assessment.

"Our new instrument, the Photoacoustic Extinctiometer —PAX, is a next generation monitoring tool to help scientists and air quality engineers accurately assess the optical properties of aerosols that are relevant for climate change and visibility. By measuring the aerosol in its natural state (photoacoustically), without requiring filter collection, the PAX improves measurement accuracy over older competing technologies."

Arnott and Arnold, an undergraduate student in Physics at the University when he assisted Arnott with instrument development, are also working on developing a truly miniature device that may find use as an on-board sensor for real-time black carbon air pollution emission control.

The University of Nevada, Reno's Tech Transfer Office develops license agreements with business and industry for technologies produced and patented at the University. They have more than 30 technologies available for licensing in a variety of commercialization categories including renewable energy, life sciences, physical sciences, environmental sciences and the medical field.

Nevada's land-grant university founded in 1874, the University of Nevada, Reno has an enrollment of more than 17,000 students. The University is home to the state's medical school and one of the country's largest study-abroad programs, and offers outreach and education programs in all Nevada counties. For more information, visit www.unr.edu. The University of Nevada, Reno is part of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Mike Wolterbeek | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unr.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>