NASA SBIR 01-1 Solicitation

FORM 9B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: B3.01-9638 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 012361 )
PROPOSAL TITLE:
Portable Water Purification System Utilizing Ambient Temperature Catalysts

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
A portable water purification system based upon an innovative ambient temperature mesoporous catalyst is proposed. This system will oxidize aqueous organic contaminants during transfer from storage to the point of use. Ion exchange media can be added as needed to remove ionic contaminants. Currently, the most active oxidation catalyst contains platinum and ruthenium supported on activated carbon. Alcohols, glycols, and aldehydes are slowly oxidized and urea hydrolyzed over this catalyst at ambient temperature. High surface area and catalyst loading are responsible for this performance; however, tenuous connectivity between micropores less than 3 nm in diameter impedes full utilization of all catalyst sites by limiting access to reactants and removal of by-products. The innovation will utilize recent advances in molecular self-assembly to fabricate mesoporous supports with high surface area, controlled pore size, and much improved pore access. An open framework of 30 nm pores will dramatically reduce mass transfer resistance and improve oxidation rates. This will allow water purification at the point of use and can also serve as an emergency back-up water processor. The Phase I project will demonstrate the feasibility of this approach. The Phase II program will deliver a prototype ambient temperature processor capable of eliminating organic contaminants from moderately contaminated water.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
Enhanced aqueous phase oxidation catalysts will have numerous commercial applications. The most readily apparent will be as Flight Hardware purchased by NASA, or by an aerospace contracting firm on behalf of NASA, to provide enhanced capability in support of manned missions aboard the International Space Station and beyond where minimization of expendables and low power requirements are highly valued. Commercial applications on earth include the elimination of organic contaminants present in waste water or ground water, and as an integrated component utilized for the production of ultra pure water. Ambient temperature operation is an extremely attractive attribute wherever environmental contaminants must be cleaned up in situ using a pump and treat system or where a reactive barrier must be incorporated to contain the spread of a contaminant plume. Current ultra pure water production technologies are focused along specific lines which do not effectively meet all water purity requirements and which will be challenged as maximum contaminant levels are lowered in the next generation semiconductor fabrication facility. Ambient temperature catalytic processes will meet higher water quality standards in a cost effective manner. As a result of the Phase II effort, UMPQUA Research Company (URC) will have a working prototype to help market this process.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
James R. Akse, Ph.D.
UMPQUA Research Company
125 Volunteer Way
Myrtle Creek , OR   97457 - 0102

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
UMPQUA Research Company
125 Volunteer Way
Myrtle Creek , OR   97457 - 0102


Form Printed on 06-19-01 15:44