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Nanostructural Materials Based High Performance Air Separation Adsorbent

Award Information

Department of Defense
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1996 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Materials & Electrochemical Research (MER) Corp.
7960 S. Kolb Rd. Tucson, AZ 85756-9237
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 1996
Title: Nanostructural Materials Based High Performance Air Separation Adsorbent
Agency / Branch: DOD / DARPA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $99,000.00


A nano-sized carbon molecules-fullerene-based adsorbent is proposed for high efficient air separation applications via pressure-swing-adsorption (PSA) process, and developing oxygen separation system for on-board aircraft applications. Research works performed at MER showed that this adsorbent has an exceptionally high oxygen/nitrogen separation factor, more than 3 times that of conventional air separation adsorbent -- zeolite 5A. Another advantage of the proposed adsorbent is the pelletizability of fullerene powders without binder, which will provide proper mechanical strength, porosity, and dimension of the adsorbent for PSA air separation applications. Therefore, the proposed adsorbent will overcome two limitations of the traditional air separation adsorbents, the limited separation factor and non-pelletizability without binder. During the Phase I program, the feasibility of using fullerene-based adsorbents for air separation will be determined, i.e., the oxygen/nitrogen separation factor of the adsorbent at pressure and temperature ranges suitable for PSA operations will be measured; the process to make pelletized adsorbent will be optimized; the air separtation performance of the adsorbent will be tested using a bench scale PSA unit, and the performance will be compared with that of traditional air separation adsorbent.

Principal Investigator:

Xiao Lu

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Materials & Electrochemical
7960 S. Kolb Road Tucson, AZ 85706

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No