In this Phase 1 SBIR proposal, Vuronyx Technologies will design an energy efficient, low footprint water recovery system for space applications. The proposed system will integrate two emerging water purification approaches - a capacitive deionization (CDI) system to remove ions, and an Electrochemical Advanced Oxidation Process (EAOP) to remove organic contaminants and microbes. The proposed work builds on our work with EPA where we are designing cost and energy efficient CDI systems for small communities, and with Oxfam, where we are designing desalination systems for refugee camps in third world countries. Vuronyx Technologies has demonstrated optimized CDI systems that ~45% lighter than conventional CDI systems, and can be operated at lower voltages to minimize energy consumption as well as to optimize the outlet salt concentration. In this proposal, Vuronyx will investigate a combined CDI-EAOP system to generate potable water from spacecraft wastewater.
The proposed technology will enable long term space travel, such as to Mars and beyond, without the need for carrying huge amounts of water in the spacecraft. Water recovered from waste streams can be used for multiple applications, including for drinking purposes.
Such systems will find use in civilian applications, such as for potable water in remote or disaster regions, purification of water from industrial sources, such as commercial laundry, automotive paint lines, agriculture and horticulture, and wastewater reuse for industries, such as cooling towers, boiler-feed, and irrigation for golf courses. And finally, the system can be used for point of entry water treatment in small communities, apartment complexes, hotels, and sport fields.