|PROPOSAL NUMBER:||03-II T5.01-9899|
|PHASE-I CONTRACT NUMBER:||NNJ04JC45C|
|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 Corporation||NAME:||Cornell University, Office of Sponsored Programs|
|ADDRESS:||Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive||ADDRESS:||120 Day Hall|
|STATE/ZIP:||WI 53717-1961||STATE/ZIP:||NY 14853-2801|
|PHONE:||(608) 827-5000||PHONE:||(607) 255-5014|
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER
Robert C Morrow
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, water recovery from water-reprocessing brines and drying of food and biomass. This process uses 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 is 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 and can be scrubbed with existing filter technologies. 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 80oC air temperature and at temperatures varying over a 40oC range during a single drying run. Since the presence of organics in the condensate, and the predicted condenser temperatures of 5-40oC are conditions favorable to biofilm growth, PMCHX membranes will need to be configured to inhibit the formation of biofilms.
POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Heat Pump Dehumidifier (HPD) 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 to recover water from water reprocessing brines. Other applications include drying of salad machine wastes such as lettuce roots, carrot tops, and 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. The ability to use the same technology for multiple applications will reduce resources required for maintenance and repair and reduce crew training time.
POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
HPD dryers are used in terrestrial drying applications including timber drying, food and biomaterial drying. They are also used in commercial "ventless" laundry dryers. DRYER technologies developed as part of this proposal might be provided as OEM component technologies for terrestrial HPD systems. Examples might be small electronic control systems, porous condensing plates, high reliability/robust systems for rugged use (military), and small closed units for consumer use (i.e. herb drying). The use of this system may be of particular interest in the drying of aromatic materials for botanicals markets. Test data from DRYER will be applicable to terrestrial uses requiring precise humidity control with little or no free water that can become contaminated. Examples include high tech fabrication facilities, facilities for controlled aging of food products, cleanrooms, and commercial buildings.