Awards Registry

Magnetic Resonance In-situ Technology for Long-term Monitoring of Subsurface Contaminant Remediation
Profile last edited on: 1/16/2022

Program
SBIR
Agency
DOE
Total Award Amount
$1,356,324
Award Phase
2
Principal Investigator
Elliot Grunewald
Activity Indicator

Company Information

Vista Clara Inc

12201 Cyrus Way Suite 104
Mukilteo, WA 98275
   (425) 493-8122
   info@vista-clara.com
   www.vista-clara.com
Multiple Locations:   
Congressional District:   02
County:   Snohomish

Phase I

Phase I year
2020
Phase I Amount
$206,499
This proposal addresses the challenge of efficiently monitoring subsurface cleanup performance as part of long-term remediation of environmental contamination. We will develop autonomous and networked arrays of in-situ NMR sensors for efficient long-term deployment at remediation sites. Based on documented NMR sensitivity, we will advance methods to integrate NMR relaxation data and 2D NMR diffusion measurements to detect and quantify changes in subsurface properties associated with remediation. The combined technology will allow autonomous long-term monitoring of remediation processes at contaminated sites. The Phase 1 research will establish the feasibility of miniaturized self-contained NMR sensors that can be deployed in 2-inch PVC and operated from a main control hub in a distributed array. We will design functional prototypes of the sensors and surface control hub to validate sensitivity and networked reliability. We will also conduct macro-scale laboratory experiments on borehole test cells to validate the sensitivity and detection thresholds of NMR measurements in conditions representing remediation environments using vegetable oil amendments and apatite precipitation. Completion of this technology in Phase II and beyond will deliver low-cost autonomous NMR monitoring arrays as a commercial product for sale, lease, and turn-key service across the huge worldwide market of environmental remediation. This technology will make it possible to efficiently and directly measure subsurface changes associated with stimulated remediation.This capability will allow remediation engineers to more effectively optimize remediation design and to accelerate the timeframes to demonstrate regulatory compliance, saving cost and improving outcomes. Ultimately, the technology will benefit human and ecosystem health, by enabling more effective subsurface cleanup and long-term environmental protection.

Phase II

Phase II year
2021 (last award dollars: 2021)
Phase II Amount
$1,149,825
This proposal addresses the challenge of efficiently monitoring subsurface cleanup performance during active environmental remediation programs. We will develop autonomous and networked arrays of insitu NMR sensors for efficient longterm deployment at remediation sites. Based on documented NMR sensitivity, we will advance methods to integrate NMR relaxation data and 2D NMR diffusion measurements to detect and quantify changes in subsurface properties associated with remediation. The combined technology will allow autonomous longterm monitoring of remediation processes at contaminated sites. The Phase 2 research will complete commercial development of miniaturized selfcontained NMR sensors that can be deployed in 2inch PVC and operated from a main control hub for repeated depth logging or deployed in a fixed distributed array. In addition to the instrumentation, we will develop firmware, software, and cloudware to enable the system to be operated autonomously in a semipermanent installation. We will develop measurement and interpretation methods to enhance sensitivity to remediation processes and will advance processing and interpretation approaches linking measured data to quantitative remediation metrics to support actionable decision by site managers. In the second year of Phase 2, we will deploy and demonstrate the technology and DOE Environmental Management sites. Completion of this technology will deliver low cost NMR remediation monitoring as a commercial product for sale, lease, and turnkey service in the worldworld market of environmental remediation. This technology will make it possible to efficiently and directly measure subsurface changes associated with stimulated remediation. This capability will allow remediation engineers to more effectively optimize remediation design and to accelerate the timeframes to demonstrate regulatory compliance, saving cost and improving outcomes. Ultimately, the technology will benefit human and ecosystem health, by enabling more effective subsurface cleanup and longterm environmental protection.