GRAVOC: GRAphene gas sensor for early detection of diseases through analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds

Altered Carbon Ltd

National Physical Laboratory
Round 3

Gas array sensors enhanced by graphene offer an increased level of stability, detection specificity and sensitivity, portability and cost-effectiveness in the non-invasive detection of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are biomarkers for various diseases.

Graphene-based array sensors do not suffer from the problems that the earlier versions of array sensors had, such as low performance, unwanted chemical interactions between VOCs and the sensors, poor intra-device repeatability, limited temporal stability and poor chemical selectivity.

However, a major problem still faced by the producers of graphene-based gas array sensors is the ability to develop analytical instruments with high sensitivity, selectivity and low detection limit.

Altered Carbon (AC) and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) are working together under the GRAVOC project to carry out industrial research of a specific computerised system for solving the problem with the gas sensor testing setup aimed at generating mixtures of multiple gases, with controllable humidity levels, in order to mimic the conditions in which the array sensor would be deployed, as well as calibrating and characterising the gas sensor arrays, and producing detailed data sheets.

Development of this computerised testing system for the sensor’s various usage environments will enable detailed analysis of the presence and concentration of target gases such as Ethylene, Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) in various environments.

While this specific A4I project focuses on testing the three aforementioned gases, the overall aim of the sensor’s analytical setup is to test various types of VOCs.

This project will enable near real-time analysis of target gases, speeding the characterisation process, and will facilitate a much faster release of the AC’s sensor to the market (by mid 2019) due to dramatically shortened optimisation iteration cycles.

Once the current testing setup problem is resolved, in UK alone AC’s graphene gas sensor has the potential to save over ¬£4.

3 billion in healthcare costs, as well as £6.

3 billion in the food supply chain costs by reducing the huge problem with food waste, which if unwasted could feed 37, the graphene sensor and its B2B machine learning algorithms with agglomeration of gas data over time will collectively contribute to driving 70, benefitting the UK through increased jobs, as well as the transfer of graphene technology to a specific application in the UK.

Analysis for Innovators