PROPOSAL NUMBER 00-1 10.01-9494 (Chron: 000507 )
O2 Saturator for Biological and Physicochemical Water Processors

The development of robust membrane oxygenation systems for microgravity and
hypogravity compatible dissolution of oxygen into flowing water streams such as
Biological Water Processor feed or recycle is proposed. Multiphase gas-liquid flow
through catalyst particles or cells immobilized on solid supports can result in flow
channeling and in extreme cases, gas block (i.e., the requirement for extremely high
pressures to achieve fluid flow). The potential for multiphase flow related problems is
significantly increased under low gravity conditions due to the weakening (or absence) of
buoyant forces which facilitate phase separations based upon density differences. These
problems can be easily avoided by first dissolving the gas phase in the liquid phase and
then establishing single phase flow through the system. We propose the development of
organic polymer/ceramic membrane based oxygenation systems, compatible with
operation at either elevated or ambient temperatures, and able to saturate an influent
aqueous stream flowing at rates corresponding to the requirements of ISS or ground based
ALS testing in the BioPlex facility. Phase I will demonstrate feasibility; Phase II will
result in the design, fabrication, and thorough testing of a complete system to be delivered
to NASA at the end of the project.

It is anticipated that, once fully developed, polymer/ceramic membrane oxygenators will
be incorporated into a variety of industrial scale reactors for the production of chemical
products. Most probably, the greatest area of application will be in ceramic membrane
reactors, where the permeation of oxygen across the full length of the catalyst bed will
minimize concentration gradients, and thereby enhance the efficiency of oxidation
reactions. The primary NASA related commercial application will be as Flight Hardware
to provide advanced capabilities aboard ISS or in support of future long duration manned
operations, such as a Mars Mission or Lunar Base.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
James E. Atwater
Umpqua Research Company
PO Box 609
Myrtle Creek , OR   97457 - 0102

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Umpqua Research Company
PO Box 609
Myrtle Creek , OR   97457 - 0102