Institute of Clean Energy Technology (ICET)
Areas of Research or Thrust
Diagnostic and Sensing Technologies (DST)
The Diagnostic and Sensing Technologies (DST) thrust area is directed by Dr. Yi Su of the Institute of Clean Energy Technology (ICET). Research in this area is primarily funded by the United States Department of Energy (DOE), the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA), and the United States Department of Defense (DOD).
DST has three major research areas, detection, monitoring, and diagnostics. In these areas, DST technologies sense chemicals, parameters, and key species; monitor combustion and incineration processes; track toxic-gas plumes; study contaminant stability, mobility, and bioavailability; and diagnose waste-tank integrity and content, engineering processes, and health risks to humans.
In the DOE Hanford Tank project, DST uses Fourier Transform Profilomentry (FTP) technology to assess the residuals remaining inside storage tanks after waste retrieval. In the LIBS project, DST assists NASA with rocket-engine research by using Laser-Induced-Breakdown Spectrometry (LIBS) to detect impurities in the rocket-engine-fuel gas.
The Environmental Sensing and Remediation program combines all three research areas and houses four DST projects focused on long-term monitoring of soil contaminants, remediation of contaminated soil and water, mercury detection, and ecosystem assessment. Most notably, the Oak Ridge mercury project centers on mercury contaminants released during the Cold War era. In this project, DST research involves understanding the mechanisms of transformation between different species of mercury; detection of mercury in contaminated soil and water; monitoring and assessing the impacts of mercury on the surrounding ecosystem; and determining the fate and transportation of mercury in the ecosystem.