NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Nanostructured Materials
PROPOSAL TITLE:Carbon Nanotube Electron Sources for Air Purification

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Microwave Power Technology
1280 Theresa Avenue
Campbell, CA 95008-6833
(408) 379-5335

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert    Espinosa
1280 Theresa Avenue
Campbell, CA  95008-6833
(408) 379-5335

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The innovation proposed here focuses on cleansing air with high energy electrons. Bombardment by electrons has proven to be effective in removing a wide spectrum of chemical and biological pollutants. Electron beam systems have a significant advantage over conventional VOC and odor control technologies. The process requires less energy than other purification methods, generates no additional CO2, requires no additional reagents and does not produce any solid or hazardous waste. We propose to develop an e-beam source to meet the restrictive cost, weight and reliability requirements attendant to commercial passenger aircraft and manned space exploration. The key to this transition is to replace the thermionic cathode electron emitter with a carbon nanotube (CNT) field emission cathode. During Phase 1 we completed a design of an e-beam system suitable for maintaining air purity for an enclosed four men space station. The system is compact, light weight and will fit readily in line with an air conditioning duct. In Phase II, we will detail the design, and build a prototype of the e-beam system. That e-beam source can also be use for decontaminating small widely distributed pollution sources, such as small paint shops, gas stations, and restaurants.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
E-beam technology is highly effective in both purification and sterilization. A CNT cold cathode based electron beam system would be particular suitable for space applications because it is rugged, light weighted and compact in size, in comparison with a thermionic e-beam system. Direct NASA applications includes: a) purifying air in lunar and planetary exploration bases, orbiting space stations and long duration space missions; b) eliminating toxic products from, or, enhancing chemical reactions in space based manufacturing; and c) sterilization of material to be returned to earth or taken to space from earth. The e-beam requires only electricity that is available from either solar or nuclear batteries that are available power sources in space. In addition, it requires no expendable reagents to be transported with it and it does not generate large quantities of waste that cannot be released into the environment.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Thermionic e-beam technology is being used for non-burning destruction of chemical and biological pollutants, such as MPTB from unlead gasoline, gas fume from petroleum refineries, and odoriferous toxic compounds from hospital wastes. Replacing the thermionic cathode with a CNT cold cathode has the potential of significantly reducing the cost of the technology and simplifying the design of the system. A low cost and compact CNT cold cathode e-beam system also make it possible to apply the technology to smaller, but significant, and widely distributed pollution sources such as small paint shops, gas stations, restaurants, hospitals, small industrial boilers, emissions from dirt burners, and odors from drying manure and feedlots, et al.

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.

In-situ Resource Utilization

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04