Pennsylvania Patent of the Month – September 2021

Soil testing is an important diagnostic tool and can identify the presence and quantity of waste materials that could harm the environment. Soil gas sampling is an especially valuable screening method which can detect the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These surveys are commonly used when looking for nonaqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) – organic liquids that persist as a separate phase in the subsurface for many years. These analyses are done by exposing the soil to a sorbent material, which can be collected by gas probes in samples over time. SKC, Inc. has developed a novel soil sampling device that can be customized to analyze multiple target components in the same collection.

Two variable sampling devices are connected together in this design. The bottom device has an additional connector to make it possible to attach a third sampling device as well. Each connected device has a sampling body, barrier door, and a space. When the barrier door is removed, the space is revealed and a sorbent material can be placed inside. The barrier door is then reattached. Air flow allows the collection of particulates or chemicals in the air by the sorbent material. Air flow is directed through holes on the barrier doors. The barrier door can be changed to alter the number and size of holes, which can then select the desired permeability and sampling rate. This helps to increase the number of particulates which can be sampled for. With multiple sampling devices, multiple sorbent materials can be used and multiple analytes can be tested for. This allows for a single collection to more efficiently perform soil analysis. 

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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