NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-2 X2.02-9562
PHASE 1 CONTRACT NUMBER: NNX10CC48P
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Habitation Systems, Water Recovery and Waste Management
PROPOSAL TITLE: Advanced Aqueous Phase Catalyst Development using Combinatorial Methods

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
UMPQUA Research Company
P.O. Box 609
Myrtle Creek, OR 97457 - 0102
(541) 863-2655

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James R Akse, Ph.D.
akse@urcmail.net
PO Box 609
Myrtle Creek, OR 97457 - 0102
(541) 863-2653

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Combinatorial methods are proposed to develop advanced Aqueous Oxidation Catalysts (AOCs) with the capability to mineralize organic contaminants present in effluents from current and future primary wastewater treatment processes at temperatures less than 70„aC, pressures below 20 psig, and contact times under 30 minutes. The Phase II effort will build upon the successful Phase I feasibility demonstration and identify rate-limiting factors for contaminant oxidation identified in the best Phase I AOCs. A new series of combinatorial catalysts will be prepared with the goal to systematically improve catalyst performance. Improvements will focus on contaminant and reaction byproduct adsorption, mass transfer resistances, and reaction rate limitations associated with noble metal concentration, dispersion, and support interaction. A second-generation combinatorial library with 102 AOCs will be prepared based on this analysis. Oxidation activity will then be compared using a difficult to oxidize ersatz solution containing contaminants known to occur in the current U.S. water processor aboard the ISS. These tests will select the best AOC based upon analysis of oxidation kinetics. This AOC will undergo long-term testing to verify performance. Scale-up activities will follow, resulting in a full-scale, deliverable prototype. The advanced AOC will lower water processor ESM and provide multiple commercial opportunities.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The NASA application for this technology will be as Flight Hardware for deployment in support of future, long duration exploration objectives beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) were efficient water recovery will play a critical role in reducing ECLSS logistics. The ability to mineralize organic contaminants present in effluents from current and future primary water processors at low temperature and pressure is an extremely valuable technology. Reduction in power usage, improvement in safety and reliability, and lower maintenance requirements are highly valued characteristics of this technology that will lower ESM for current and future water reclamation processes used aboard spacecraft and within lunar and planetary habitats.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Commercialization of this technology has many opportunities in environmental remediation, semiconductor production, and pharmaceutical industries as well as consumer products. AOCs that oxidize organic contaminants at low temperatures can be used to clean-up wastewater or groundwater, or for the production of ultra-pure water. AOCs are extremely attractive for in situ environmental clean-up using a pump and treat system, where energy usage must be minimized. Current ultra-pure water production systems are limited to specific oxidation technologies and will be challenged by more stringent requirements in the next generation semiconductor fabrication facility. Low temperature non-specific oxidation processes will help meet these water quality standards in a cost-effective manner.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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 Generated on 08-06-10 17:29