Vapor detection technology developed at PNNL named ‘Innovation of the Year’ by GeekWire

Department of Energy chooses PNNL to host state-of-the-art electric grid research facility

SEATTLE, Wash. – A technology developed by researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland has been named the 2020 Innovation of the Year by GeekWire, the Seattle-based technology news company.

PNNL’S vapor detection technology, known as VaporID, can quickly detect explosive vapors, deadly chemicals and illicit drugs. It and other winners of GeekWire’s annual awards for the Northwest’s top companies and technologies were announced at a virtual ceremony on July 23.

The technology’s method for identifying drugs or explosives is overall faster, more efficient and non-contact, compared to other methods used at airports and other venues, like bomb-sniffing dogs.

It can identify explosive compounds like C-4, PETN, Semtex, nitroglycerin, tetryl and TNT as well as drugs such as fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine.