Ready for Transfer

Optical Remote Sensing of Fugitive Releases

Laboratory: Environmental Protection Agency

Technology: The deep UV optical sensor (DUVOS)

Opportunity: Available for licensing

Details: There are many benefits to reducing fugitive emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) from industrial facilities.  These benefits include enhanced protection of human health, improved worker safety, and the realization of cost savings by companies.  Unlike stack emissions, fugitive releases are difficult to detect. Fenceline monitoring using optical remote sensing can augment existing leak detection and repair programs by helping workers to quickly pinpoint and repair leaks.

The ultraviolet (UV) form of this open-path optical sensor technology is called the deep UV optical sensor (DUVOS).  DUVOS assists in the detection and measurement of fugitive HAPs emissions in industrial settings and other sensor applications.  The approach relies on the strong broadband optical absorption of many HAPs in the deep UV spectral region.

Benefits: This robust measurement approach that provides real-time measurements and is highly sensitive (strong optical absorption), non-speciating (for integrated compound detection), low maintenance (no sample handing or lab analysis), and inexpensive (eliminates spectrometer). It can be used in multiple configurations, including:

  • Extended open-path (fenceline or in-plant monitoring)
  • Open-cage optical cell (high-speed point monitoring)
  • Building ventilation monitoring (cross-vent)
  • Miniature optical cell (low-cost sensor applications)
  • Mobile monitoring (mobile leak detection)

Applications: The EPA recently amended the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants From Petroleum Refineries and now requires fenceline measurements for benzene as a surrogate for facility fugitive emissions using time-integrated passive samplers. Simple and cost-effective time-resolved fenceline monitoring strategies can assist in the execution of these requirements.  Additionally, there is growing interest in lower-cost technologies to detect HAPs in building ventilation and homes, or with personal sensors. 

The DUVOS approach can assist in development of next-generation, lower-cost HAP measurement systems for a variety of applications.  Improved detection and mitigation of fugitive emissions of HAPs is an important emerging topic in many industrial sectors. Also important is the development of low-cost, small-format HAP sensor approaches. 

Contact: Sarah Bauer, FTTA Program Coordinator

For more information, view the EPA’s complete listing for this opportunity.