PEM Inc. Executes Memorandum of Understanding to Explore Commercial Manufacturing of the iRIS-III Portable 14CO2 Measurement Technology

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c&en--An easier way to tell fossil fuels from biofuels
c&en--An easier way to tell fossil fuels from biofuels
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Oct. 17, 2018 - PRLog -- Planetary Emissions Management Inc. (PEM) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ABB's Measurement & Analytics business unit, to explore commercial manufacturing of new laser-based technology for high precision measurement of 14CO2 in a benchtop portable instrument. The Radiocarbon Infrared Spectrometer (iRIS-III) technology was developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, Maryland, and is licensed exclusively to PEM for applications worldwide.

The iRIS-III, now in the pre-commercial prototype stage, promises to succeed where other portable 14CO2 analyzers have not. The key features of the NIST analyzer are structural simplicity, low cost, and NIST-patented cavity enhanced absorption technology technique, a calibration-free methodology. Initial results for the iRIS-III are available online, with improvements to the first-generation instrument underway. With further development, the iRIS-III is expected to meet PEM's requirement for high precision (1% or less Fraction Modern) and high frequency (~one-half hour) measurement for portable and benchtop applications.

Under the MoU, PEM will explore commercial production options for the analyzer with ABB. "ABB's world-class manufacturing capability, decade long tradition of developing novel cavity enhanced absorption methods (including cavity ring-down spectroscopy and Off-axis ICOS), and extensive commercial portfolio of laser-based analyzers make this a natural fit," says Doug Baer, ABB's Global Product Line Manager of Laser Analyzers.

Low cost and mobile measurement of atmospheric radiocarbon will advance the focus of PEM applications for carbon trading. "For the first time, measurement of atmospheric CO2 isotopologues for  12CO2, 13CO2 and 14CO2 can be combined on the benchtop in under an hour for research and commercial applications—this is a game changer for PEM and for all end-users of radiocarbon analysis," remarked PEM CEO, Bruno D.V. Marino.

Thousands of radiocarbon or 14C measurements are made each year by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). AMS measurements are made in regional facilities and are expensive for fast turnaround (days to weeks). The AMS analysis consumes the gas sample and is not suited for real-time and high-volume sample studies. The commercial applications for the benchtop iRIS-III are diverse. Examples include the oil and gas industry, fossil fuel tracking, carbon capture and storage operations, archaeological radiocarbon dating, and medical diagnosis for the common ulcer, among others.

About PEM Inc.

Planetary Emissions Management Inc., Cambridge, MA, is a US small business dedicated to commercializing innovative greenhouse gas analyzers and standardized measurement-to-monetization technologies to track, trade and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change now and for future generations.

ABB Measurement and Analytics

ABB's Measurement & Analytics business unit ( is among the world's leading manufacturers and suppliers of smart instrumentation and analyzers. With thousands of experts around the world and high-performance digital technology, ABB's team is dedicated to making measurement easy for its customers.

About ABB

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees.


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