NASA 1999 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 99-1 08.03-7770 (Chron: 990404)

PROJECT TITLE: Advanced Immobilized Enzyme Bioreactors for Space Station

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

The development of advanced immobilized enzyme bioreactors for the ambient temperature destruction of dissolved organics in reclaimed water is proposed. More than a decade ago, work began which resulted in the development of two unique composite beds which catalyzed the conversion of low molecular weight alcohols and urea to ionic constituents, and then retained the reaction byproducts on ion-exchanges resins. This original work barely scratched the surface with respect to an evaluation of potentially beneficial enzyme systems. A vast array of biocatalysts are yet to be investigated. Among these are a class of highly nonspecific oxidase enzymes which have been shown in preliminary work conducted in our laboratory to exhibit good activity toward the oxidation of ethylene and propylene glycols, two important components of humidity condensate. We propose to build upon this fundamental concept sufficiently to produce a comprehensive system for the treatment of BWP, RO or MF effluents to yield potable water meeting NASA drinking water TOC specifications. Fundamental advantages of the enzyme based bioreactors are simplicity, minimal power consumption, compatibility with current multifiltration systems, and ambient temperature operation.



POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

It is anticipated that specific enzyme systems will be identified which can be directly applied to ground-based environmental remediation applications. However, the most promising commercial aspect of the proposed projectis in the production and sale of enzymes which are not currently available commercially. The primary customers will be the biomedical and research communities. Enzymes are small-quantity-high-value products. It is anticipated that as a result of the Phase II effort,UMPQUA will have sufficient capacity to meet initial demand. The most probable means of bringing the new enzymes to market will be through a sales agreement with a major biochemical supplier such as Sigma-Aldrich.


NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

 
James E. Atwater 
Umpqua Research Company
PO Box 609
Myrtle Creek , OR 97457 - 0102

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR


Umpqua Research Company 
PO Box 609
Myrtle Creek , OR 97457 - 0102