NASA STTR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-2 T10.01-9906
PROPOSAL TITLE: Hydrogen Recovery System

NAME: Sustainable Innovations, LLC NAME: The University of Connecticut
STREET: 160 Oak St. STREET: 438 Whitney Road Ext. Unit 1133
CITY: Glastonbury CITY: Storrs
STATE/ZIP: CT  06033 - 2336 STATE/ZIP: CT  06269 - 1133
PHONE: (860) 652-9690 PHONE: (860) 486-3622

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Trent Molter
160 Oak Street
Glastonbury, CT 06033 - 2336
(860) 860-9690

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 5
End: 7

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Rocket test operations at NASA Stennis Space Center (SSC) result in substantial quantities of hydrogen gas that is flared from the facility and helium gas that is vented. One way to save on the cost of test operations is to recover these gases using an electrochemical system. This Hydrogen Recovery System (HRS) selectively removes hydrogen from the mixed stream, leaving behind high-value helium. The system then removes residual water vapor from this helium and compresses it to commercial storage pressure. The heart of the HRS is a system platform under commercial development by Sustainable Innovations, termed H2RENEWTM, an electrochemical system package that separates and compresses hydrogen using Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology. The system being developed in this Phase II STTR program targets a hydrogen removal rate of 1.77 scfm, an outlet hydrogen pressure of 200 psi, and a product helium pressure of 2,000 2,500 psi. This system leverages a robust novel Expandable Modular Architecture (EMA) electrochemical cell stack that is capable of being constructed with a very large production capacity and high operating pressure.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are several NASA applications that can take advantage of the underlying technologies that support Sustainable Innovations' HRS. Primary needs are to separate and recover hydrogen and helium from rocket engine test stands. For in-situ resource utilization there are needs for recirculation of hydrogen and to facilitate pneumatic transport. Terrestrial NASA applications include capturing, purifying and compressing purge gas for various experimental test stands. The requirement to separate hydrogen from CO2 and CO exists in life support applications. The HRS being developed here supports efficient separation of these constituents without moving parts. Hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell systems are being studied as a means of providing efficient energy storage for many different NASA missions. Long-term missions are hampered by the fact that residual helium often exists in the hydrogen fuel tanks. An HRS can alleviate this problem by removing the helium.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The emergence of hydrogen-based economy necessitates the ability to pump and compress large amounts of hydrogen. A range of products based on the HRS will help deliver hydrogen to fueling stations and provide compression for vehicular refueling. Assuming the adoption of a pipeline hydrogen-based infrastructure, there is a need to pump the hydrogen along the pipeline to fueling stations. A medium to large size fueling station would require 300 lbs per day of hydrogen, which at 500 psi is 1,730 cf. A 30 CFM HRS would allow a fueling station to store a day's worth of fuel in 2 hours. Hydrogen powered vehicles require hydrogen at 6,000 10,000 psi to facilitate efficient volumetric storage. Therefore an HRS with a high capacity, high pressure cell design would be a valuable tool to support a hydrogen-based economy.

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.)
Air Revitalization and Conditioning
Earth-Supplied Resource Utilization
Energy Storage
Fluid Storage and Handling
In-situ Resource Utilization
Operations Concepts and Requirements
Portable Life Support
Power Management and Distribution
Propellant Storage
Renewable Energy
Testing Facilities
Testing Requirements and Architectures

Form Generated on 02-01-11 15:25