Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Real-Time Speciation of Particulates(ST9392-1)

X-Ray Optical Systems, Inc.


Epidemiological studies have related the concentration of ambient particulate matter (PM) mass to adverse health effects, both morbidity and mortality. Over the last seven-to-eight – years, increased attention has been paid to the effects of fine PM (i.e., having aerodynamic diameters of 2.5 microns or less) on human health. A significant fraction of primary ambient fine PM is generated from combustion processes such as stationary and vehicular sources for electrical power generation and transportation. The metal composition of fine PM is one of several health hypotheses requiring further study. Additionally, the metal compositions of ambient air samples are important in apportioning the contribution of ambient PM from sources, which is also important in developing local and regional regulatory policy. Current methods for metals analyses require 24 hours of sampling to collect enough material for analysis due to limits in detection sensitivity. Instruments with greater sensitivity would allow for shorter sample collection times, which are important for source/receptor modeling and health studies.

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Project Description

The scope of work includes: developing an instrument system design; building an x-ray analyzer, which includes double-curved crystal optic, characterization and performance testing, analysis and control electronics; developing an air sampler and filter transport system, which will be done in collaboration with Clarkson University or Research Triangle Institute and a commercial ambient air sampling company; assembling and testing the full system; and evaluating the beta-unit with the Atmospheric Science Research Center at SUNY at Albany, commercial partners, and possibly the EPA ETV Advanced Monitoring Systems Center.


Benefits include increased measurement sensitivity. Improves measurement capability needed to properly attribute ambient PM to specific types of fuel combustion and other sources in a real time manner. Low power and energy is required for instrument operation. It reduces the energy and labor costs associated with sampling and analysis through continuous and unattended operation. There is a potential for product sales and increased employment in New York State.

Project Results

The Contractor has provided a final report and continues to pursue partnerships to further develop technology developed in this project.


X-Ray Optical Systems, Inc.
15 Tech Valley Drive
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Principle Investigator

Jay Burdett

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:


NYSERDA Contact Information

Barry Liebowitz


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST9392-1

Last Updated: 6/28/2013