NASA STTR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 T8.03-9870
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Innovative Green Technologies for Renewable Energy Sources
PROPOSAL TITLE: Photo-Enhanced Hydrogen Transport Technology for Clean Renewable Electrochemical Energy Systems

NAME: Phenom Technologies, Inc NAME: College of William and Mary
STREET: 5300 Palmer Ln, STE 2A STREET: Grants & Research Admin.
CITY: Williamsburg CITY: Williamsburg
STATE/ZIP: VA  23188 - 2794 STATE/ZIP: VA  23187 - 8795
PHONE: (757) 784-4647 PHONE: (757) 221-3966

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Gunter Luepke
College of William and Mary, Dept of Applied Science
Williamsburg, VA 23187 - 8795
(757) 221-1894

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Solid oxide fuel cells and electrolyzers are promising electrochemical devices for space and terrestrial applications due to their high power densities and clean operation. Furthermore, proton-conducting oxides have the potential to allow lower operational temperatures and promote more reliable and longer-lived devices—both valuable attributes for space applications—however, practical devices are not yet realized because of insufficient proton mobility at moderate temperatures. Phenom Technologies, Inc. has identified a new non-thermal technique to dramatically enhance the mobility of protons in solid oxides using resonant infrared irradiation to excite molecular O-H vibrations in the material. In our earlier work, we have shown that this photo-enhanced hydrogen transport effect can increase the proton diffusion rate in solid oxides by nine orders of magnitude. In this Phase I STTR proposal, we will build on our established research to complete a proof of concept study and lay the foundation for Phase II prototype development of a "photo-enhanced" solid oxide electrolyte for fuel cells and electrolyzers. This study will address NASA's need for more reliable and efficient solid oxide electrochemical components for clean renewable energy systems.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Advanced solid oxide fuel cells are crucial components for primary power generation and water production on NASA's spacecraft and outpost stations. Additionally, they can provide clean power for use in aircraft, reusable launch vehicles, rovers, buildings, and portable electronic devices.

Solid oxide electrolyzers can help reduce the high costs of extended missions to the Lunar and Martian surfaces by producing oxygen from reformed regolith. They are also promising candidates to be used in advanced life support systems by regenerating oxygen from CO2 and H2O.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The application space for our advanced photo-enhanced electrochemical technology is very broad. Fuel cells, for example, are very attractive in today's consumer environment of heightened environmental awareness due to their high efficiencies and low pollution. Our technology will lower operational temperatures and reduce startup times, which will allow implementation of SOFC devices in portable-high power and automotive applications, where the fuel flexibility offers significant advantages over PEM devices that require reformed hydrogen fuel and its associated delivery infrastructure. Other applications include improved hydrogen sensors, pumps/separation membranes, and electrolysis for hydrogen production, desulfurization, and NOx removal.

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.)
Analytical Methods
Destructive Testing
Fiber (see also Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Photonics)
Lasers (Machining/Materials Processing)
Lifetime Testing
Manufacturing Methods
Materials & Structures (including Optoelectronics)
Materials (Insulator, Semiconductor, Substrate)
Microfabrication (and smaller; see also Electronics; Mechanical Systems; Photonics)
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Simulation & Modeling
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)
Space Transportation & Safety

Form Generated on 09-03-10 15:17