NASA SBIR 00-II Solicitation

FORM 9B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10.01-9417 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 000584 )
PROPOSAL TITLE: Sub-Micron Particle Removal From Gas-Water Mixtures Without Flow Restrictions

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The Phase I program conclusively demonstrated the feasibility of removing sub-micron catalyst particles suspended in a gas-water mixture using electrostatic attraction between the suspended particles and the surface of Particle Removal Media (PRM) without appreciable pressure drops. This program proposed to solve degasser degradation problems downstream of the Volatile Removal Assembly (VRA) in the Water Recovery System (WRS) at MSFC. Degradation was traced to sub-micron catalyst particles emanating from the VRA. PRM were selected to exhibit the opposite surface charge of this catalyst. The best PRM bed removed sub-micron simulated catalyst particles from a simulated VRA gas-water mixture for over 8350 bed volumes without an appreciable pressure drop. This is equivalent to 61 days for a 1-liter bed at the nominal WRS flow. The Phase II effort will optimize PRM, improve the bed packing efficiency, and determine temperature capabilities. Acombination of electrofiltration with PRM combination will also be evaluated. Attention will be given to insure accurate particle characterization. A full-scale system capable of treating the nominal WRS flow of 114 mL/min will be assembled, and its performance fully characterized, including life tests and effluent particle characterization. A full-scale unit will be delivered to NASA-MSFC for independent performance validation.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
It is anticipated that a particle removal system based on the electrostatic interaction of very fine particles in water with removal media will have numerous commercial applications. Foremost among these will be as Flight Hardware purchased by NASA, or by an aerospace contracting firm on behalf of NASA, to provide enhanced capability in support of the WRS aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Earth-based applications include replacement of conventional filtration techniques for particulate control in water systems. The removal of extremely fine particles without large pressure drops associated with fine filtration is a leading candidate. High value products that are susceptible to adsorption on conventional filter elements are another area of potential application. Many commercial processes require the addition of flocculating agents to remove products or wastes from the process stream. Extensive washing of flocked aggregates is required to complete the process, adding expense and time to the overall process. The utilization of electrostatic flocculation methods can greatly simplify this requirement and improve profitability. It is anticipated that as a result of the Phase II effort, UMPQUA Research Company (URC) will have a process demonstrator to market this process.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
James R. Akse, Ph.D.
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


Form Printed on 11-26-01 17:18