NASA STTR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-T5.01-9899 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 030101)
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:Advanced Crew Support Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE:Closed Loop Waste Processing Dryer (DRYER)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (SBC): RESEARCH INSTITUTION (RI):
NAME: Orbital Technologies Corp NAME:Cornell University, Office of Sponsored Programs
ADDRESS:1212 Fourier Drive ADDRESS:120 Day Hall
CITY:Madison CITY:Ithaca
STATE/ZIP:WI  53717-1961 STATE/ZIP:NY  14853-2801
PHONE: (608) 827-5000 PHONE: (607) 255-5014

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name,Email)
Robert C Morrow
morrowr@orbitec.com
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The objective of this proposal is to develop a gravity-independent pasteurization and hot air drying process suitable for stabilization of ALS wet cabin waste, drying of crew laundry, and water recovery from water-reprocessing brines. This dryer will use an energy-efficient closed air-loop Heat Pump Desiccant dryer to remove moisture from wet starting material and a Porous Membrane Condensing Heat Exchanger (PMCHX) to trap condensate. Water recovered during drying should be of good quality and available for reuse with standard processing. The process is energy efficient since enthalpy released by the condensing vapor is used to reheat the drying air. Volatile organic compounds are contained throughout the drying process. The system could incorporate a photocatalytic oxidation system to remove VOCs accumulated during drying. The key objective for the PMCHX is to extend its range of application from low-load humidity control in plant growth chambers to high-load condenser duty at up to 80?C air temperature and at temperatures varying over a 40?C range during a single drying run. Since the presence of organics in the condensate, and the predicted condenser temperatures of 5-40?C are conditions favorable to biofilm growth, PMCHX membranes will need to be configured to inhibit the formation of biofilms.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Heat Pump Dessicant drying and high-temperature Porous Membrane Condensing Heat Exchanger condensate recovery have numerous potential applications in space life support. The system can be used to dry Advanced Life Support wet cabin waste to recover water and reduce waste volume, to dry crew laundry, and for recovering water from water reprocessing brines. Other applications include drying of salad machine wastes such as lettuce roots, carrot tops, vegetable trim waste and used nutrient delivery wicks. This gravity independent system could also be used in a planetary colony for drying food products such as grains or beans.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
We intend to demonstrate use of the PMCHX on a much larger scale and in a so-far untested temperature range from 30 to 80?C, suitable for drying. A successful demonstration of the PMCHX condenser under these conditions, especially if the heat transfer characteristics prove superior to conventional condensers, could potentially lead to adoption of PMCHXs for terrestrial HPD drying applications.