The Science Behind our Technology
Applied Power Concepts
Applied Power Concepts, Inc. (APC) provides technology development and analysis services for the chemical process industry, the biotechnology process industry and the renewable energy generation industry. APC has developed technology for chemical and biochemical process optimization resulting in significant patent protection for client companies. APC chemical process and product development has focused on environmentally acceptable alternative to existing chemical products where human or environmental exposure is involved. APC has been in the forefront of renewable energy generation (wind, solar, and biomass conversion) since it was founded in 1987.
Dr. Farone has served as President and CEO of Applied Power Concepts, Inc. since 1987 and has 30 years of experience in development of commercial processes from laboratory and pilot plant studies. Previously, he served for sixteen years as director of research for two large multinational companies. He has over 60 technical publications in diverse areas such as electromagnetic phenomena, spectroscopy and chemistry. He is inventor of several products and processes in energy, biochemical and chemical technology.
APC has four laboratory areas, Organic synthesis, Microbiology, Analytical Chemistry and Electronic. APC has 2 Infrared spectrometers, 4 gas chromatographs, 2 uv-visible spectrometers, a spectral radiometer, 3 liquid chromatographs, an ion chromatograph, an atomic absorption spectrometer and devices for measurement of various physical parameters such as heat capacity, viscosity, enthalpy of reaction or phase transition, etc. In the electronics area we have oscilloscopes, frequency counters, power supplies, several VOMs, DVMs, etc.
APC has analysis and design capabilities in Finite Element Modeling of mechanical devices, Molecular Modeling, Thermodynamics, Kinetics and specialized software development for process monitoring and control. All APC processes in the laboratory and pilot plant are monitored and operated with APC developed software.
Applied Power Concepts built a Simulator to test effectiveness of StreetVac’s road pollution filters.
APC conducted a thorough study of StreetVac™ and has published a report titled, “Atmospheric Particulate Removal Potential of the StreetVac System, January 12, 2006”. The report summarizes a literature review and original research conducted by APC. In addition to collecting samples from StreetVac™ pads mounted on vehicles, APC built a simulator, shown in Figure 6, to conduct controlled experiments. Supporting data from the simulator, a portable wind tunnel that impacts the roadside aerosol into StreetVac™ pads, show pick up of about 0.06 grams per hour of PM2.5 in a location that is close to the highways that test vehicles traveled. This simulation device is also useful for determine pad type and mounting methods.
To estimate the effectiveness of StreetVac™ in the APC study, Dr. Farone calculates that the EPA annual average limit of 15 micrograms per cubic meter for PM 2.5 particles translates into about 1 particle per cubic centimeter. Thus, if you had 10 times that amount in a cm3 you would want to have a transfer coefficient of around 10 to be able to remove them to the standard. The study finds that this is achievable at vehicle speeds above 15 miles per hour. The report concludes that:
There is no doubt that when enough vehicles are equipped with this system, the rate of removal of fine and ultra-fine particles could be greater than their rate of introduction into the environment along the roadways. Therefore, this system is a viable tool to help meet with EPA ambient air standards for PM2.5 particles in an environment where the majority of people spend a large part of their time, the roadways.
If the government's intent is to reduce human exposure to fine particles, wide deployment of this system in non-attainment areas is justifiable.
In three independent studies, NEL Labs analyzed filter samples utilizing state of the art laboratory analytical equipment and using EPA accepted protocols. A Gas Chromatograph was used to analyze for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH-oil) and for metals. An Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Atomic Emissions Spectrophotometer was employed. The tests were conducted in Honolulu, Hawaii and Las Vegas, Nevada. Gas chromatograph tests showed the system readily captured TPH-oil, as well as heavy metals through mechanical entrapment. Highly toxic metals such as Mercury, Barium, Copper, Chromium, Lead, and Selenium were detected in significant concentrations. The high concentrations of copper were attributed to the deterioration of mechanical brake pads during vehicle operation.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. of Westmont, NJ, analyzed StreetVac™ field samples for particle identification using the following equipment and methodologies:
- Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM)
- Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
- Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
- Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectrometry (EDX)
- X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)
As shown in Figure 4 the highest percentages of particles captured on the StreetVac™ pad are much less than 2.5 microns in diameter. This can be visually seen in the SEM micrograph in Figure 5.
Figure 4 - Particle Size Distribution on StreetVac Sample
Figure 5 Fine particles trapped on a StreetVac pad