NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X3.02-9715
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Water Processing and Waste Management Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Nonhazardous Urine Pretreatment Method for Future Exploration Systems

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
UMPQUA Research Company
PO Box 609
Myrtle Creek, OR 97457 - 0102
(541) 863-7770

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James R. Akse, Ph.D.
PO Box 609
Myrtle Creek, OR 97457 - 0102
(651) 863-2653

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 1 to 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
A novel urine pretreatment that will prevent biological growth or chemical instabilities in urine without using hazardous chemicals is proposed. Untreated urine fosters biological growth, ammonia generation, creation of bio-solids, and inorganic precipitates, which foul water and air reclamation hardware. The current Russian system employs hexavalent chromium, a strong oxidant and carcinogen, and sulfuric acid to stabilize urine, while the American system utilizes potassium monopersulfate, another strong oxidant, sulfuric acid, and potassium benzoate. Urine stabilized in these respective manners requires triple and double containment, and chemical storage and handling become problematic due to the hazardous nature and low pH (1.3 –2.6) of these chemicals. These requirements significantly increase urine pretreatment ESM. The proposed pretreatment system consists of a simple flow-through Solid Phase Acid (SPA) bed containing sparingly soluble transition metal oxide particles for pH control, which combined with a soluble non-oxidizing biocide will provide long-term urine stabilization. This innovative system fulfills an unmet need for safe, efficient and automated urine pretreatment for current and future NASA missions. The Phase I effort will demonstrate the feasibility of this novel approach. The Phase II project will fully develop the process, including the design and testing of deliverable hardware for urine pretreatment.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The NASA application of this innovative, safe, efficient and automated urine pretreatment hardware will be as Flight Hardware for deployment in support of future long duration exploration objectives such as a lunar mission, lunar base, Mars transit or Mars base. The primary application will be as a replacement for current urine pretreatment systems aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and on the Lunar Outpost (LO). Secondarily, this device can be utilized to stabilize other waste streams, which are prone to microbial instability. It is anticipated that numerous other uses will be found for this system within NASA.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This urine pretreatment technology may be employed in a variety of applications to provide a means for safe and stable urine storage. In the near term, this technology can be applied to storage onboard recreational vehicles, ships, or in conjunction with portable restroom facilities. The capability to effectively store urine can be the basis for a new technology, in which, urine is collected in bulk, stored, and treated to reduce the environmental impact of treatment facilities and improve treatment efficiency. The development of SPA units and biocides with well-characterized performance will facilitate this development. In addition, SPA beds may be used for control of pH in a variety of circumstances including analytical instrumentation and industrial processes.

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.

Biomedical and Life Support
Sterilization/Pathogen and Microbial Control
Waste Processing and Reclamation

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50