NASA STTR 2005 Solicitation


RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:Advanced Crew Support Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE:Carbon Nanotube-Based Adsorbents for Volatile Air Contaminants

NAME: Agave BioSystems, Inc. NAME:Universities Space Research Association
ADDRESS:PO Box 80010 ADDRESS:10211 Wincopin Circle, Suite 500
CITY:Austin CITY:Columbia
STATE/ZIP:TX  78708-0010 STATE/ZIP:MD  21044-3432
PHONE: (512) 656-6200 PHONE: (410) 730-2656

Joel S Tabb

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In completing the Phase I SBIR, Agave BioSystems and the Universities Space Research Association, have successfully demonstrated proof of concept for the use of novel carbon nanotube (CNT)-based structures as next generation smart adsorbents for the adsorption and destruction of potentially toxic air contaminants. Since CNTs have an extremely high surface area, can be readily modified with metals or functional groups, and can function without the mass transfer limitations of traditional activated carbon, they are an ideal material for integration into spacecraft air handling systems. In the Phase II program, we will build upon the unique structural and chemical nature of carbon nanotubes to construct a prototype system utilizing these smart adsorbents.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA's next generation spacecraft will have a totally redesigned air purification (or climate control system) and a major concern is that this system will not be able to deal with the low levels of ammonia and carbon monoxide generated during long space flights. Therefore, in addition to adsorption and degradation of VOCs, the development of a versatile CNT-based system that can be used to adsorb and release ammonia, and also remove CO by oxidizing it into CO2 would be ideal. In addition to routine removal of low ambient level CO produced through normal metabolic activity, a second important operational scenario is an excursion with high CO levels, > 10 ppm possibly greater than 100 ppm, arising from a fire. For this situation, a catalyst with high activity and storage capacity, such as this novel CNT-based system, is critical to reduce high transient levels within minutes before incapacity or death occurs.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
An example of the commercial importance for CO removal is in fuel cell power generation. Generally in fuel cells, the reformate gas typically contains 0.5 ? 2% by volume CO. It is imperative to lower the concentration of CO because it is a catalyst poison for the gas-diffusion anode. Volatile organic compounds present one of the major environmental problems today. Filters for airborne particulate matter are essential in many instances, including air purifiers, respiratory protection equipment and clean rooms. In the manufacturing sector, semiconductor manufacturing requires ultra-high filtration. Applications for this technology include indoor filtration systems to remove VOCs from indoor air streams, personal protective gear for workers exposed to occupationally high levels of industrial chemicals, and equipment for military personnel, firefighters and other public health officials who may come into contact with toxic air contaminants while dealing with the aftermath of industrial spills and leaks.

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.

Air Revitalization and Conditioning

Form Printed on 01-23-07 12:19