volatile organic compound sensor
Source of Article: http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20090216/SUB1/302169978/1005&Profile=1005
4:30 am, February 16, 2009
Strongsville-based Sensor Development Corp. is doing its part to keep some
of the food you eat free from potentially deadly toxins.
The company is developing a sensor for grain elevators that would provide
continuous monitoring of mold growth and the potentially fatal aflatoxin.
The sensor monitors gases in grain elevators' head spaces, and the data are
transported to a central computer for processing. SDC touts the technology as
more efficient and accurate, as the continuous monitoring cuts out the
current process of sampling only at random intervals, then preparing the
samples and finally analyzing the data. Instead, SDC's
system allows for instant analysis and better quality control.
SDC, which has been awarded three Small Business Innovation Research grants
totaling $450,000 and two Cuyahoga
County loans totaling
$100,000, will test the technology through Cargill and The Andersons, said
SDC president Nick Smilanich. The company forecasts
revenue not only from selling the sensor system, but also replacement chips
and technical service once installed; SDC is aiming to cut down on the
approximately 6% of corn lost in the United States' 2 million elevators each
“Especially in the grain and food industries, there's a greater desire on
consumers' behalf for more refined and pure products,” said Mike Kiel,
director of grain division operations at The Andersons, a Maumee-based
diversified agri-business and retailing company. “(Sensor Development's
system) will help us immediately identify any propagation of mold and get our
product into the mainstream sooner.”
The technology was originally developed by C.C. Liu at Case
Western Reserve University's Electronic Design
Center and exclusively
licensed to SDC.