Project duration: 2023 - 2026
Development of a "Point of Use Micro-Multichannel Gas Chromatograph" for rapid on-site detection of VOCs.
Damage to health could be avoided and inferior product qualities detected if sensitive, selective on-site analytics were available. Current technologies do not offer the required speed, precision and ease of use. Quite the contrary, current analysis systems are laboratory-based and thus cost- and time-intensive, and also require specialized personnel for operation and data evaluation.
The project is therefore developing a mobile gas chromatography (GC) system that is fast, easy to operate, robust and inexpensive. This is used to analyze so-called VOCs - volatile organic compounds. VOCs are chemical compounds that are characteristic of a particular composition or health hazard. The detection, identification and quantification of VOCs is of great importance in many fields. These include, for example, food quality/safety, medical markers, civil security, agriculture, chemical industry, and manufacturing.
In the project, two application-specific demonstrators for VOC detection will be developed and demonstrated on two industry-relevant lead applications. One is the identification of food adulteration, for example in olive oil. The second application is plastics recycling.
Overall, the project is divided into three main areas:
- Development of a chip-based, miniaturized GC component that includes, among other things, a temperature-controlled multichannel GC column with application-specific filling
- System development with flexible sample pretreatment
- Establishment of fast evaluation algorithms as well as validation of the demonstrator, in particular with regard to user-friendliness, in order to enable on-site evaluation even by analytical laymen
In the project, Fraunhofer IPMS is responsible for the development of the device concept for the chip-based implementation, the functionalization of the GC chip, and the assembly and connection technology.