NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Water Processing and Waste Management
PROPOSAL TITLE:Enhanced Brine Dewatering System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Orbital Technologies Corporation
1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI 53717-1961
(608) 827-5000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
William D Butrymowicz
1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI  53717-1961
(608) 229-2736

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The purpose of the Enhanced Brine Dewatering System (EBDS) is to provide an easily scalable means of completely recovering usable water from byproducts created by reverse osmosis water purification systems without the use of consumable wicks. Extended duration Lunar and Mars missions will require the conservation and recovery of water to allow for autonomous closed environments that in turn can dramatically reduce launch mass and reduce stowage volumes. The EBDS will build on previous developments in condensing heat exchangers to establish reliable, passive, and energy-efficient methods for recovering water by focusing on the phase separation methods employed at the brine evaporator. The EBDS uses evaporation surfaces treated with antifouling agents to eliminate biological growth and hydrophilic coatings to increase efficiency. These surface treatments are also employed at the condensing heat exchanger. In addition to limiting bio-fouling the brine evaporation system is designed to completely and autonomously recover usable water and isolate waste salts. Crew interaction is limited to periodically removing the bio-isolated waste byproducts from the system.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The EBDS enables water reclamation from waste water brines without the use of consumable wicks. EBDS can interface with the Advanced Water Recovery Systems (AWRS) of the Advanced Life Support (ALS) project or similar systems required for all long-duration human spaceflight systems and extraterrestrial colonization to process waste water created by reverse osmosis treatments and provide water suitable for post-treatment and human consumption. The EBDS can be used to recover water from laundry washing and drying applications. By using EBDS, launch mass and volume can be greatly reduced by limiting the amount of water needed to support the mission by reducing the amount of water lost to waste. In addition to saving the volume and mass associated with carrying extra water, crew time and stowage are reduced by greatly increasing the time between service operations.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
EBDS provides a reliable, scalable, energy efficient, and low maintenance method of recovering usable water from brines. Primary use of the EBDS technology is in microgravity due to the gravity independent nature of the phase separation provided by the brine evaporator and condenser, thus commercial space travel will benefit. Immediate terrestrial applications of this system could be as a self-contained package for concentration and stabilization of non-volatile toxic or high-value wastes (e.g., dyes, heavy metal salts, or lumber-treatment solutions) from environmental cleanup sites or small scale manufacturing processes. The system is especially suitable for mercury salt remediation because the closed air loop will contain any volatile organomercury compounds present in the water feed solution. The EBDS could also be used for recovery of solvents or fuels from spills or leak sites in areas of saline groundwater.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Waste Processing and Reclamation

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19