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Helium-Hydrogen Recovery System

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave. Wheat Ridge, CO -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Helium-Hydrogen Recovery System
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX11CI44P
Award Amount: $100,000.00


Immense quantities of expensive liquefied helium are required at Stennis and Kennedy Space Centers for pre-cooling rocket engine propellant systems prior to filling with liquid hydrogen, for pressurizing tanks and for safely purging residual hydrogen. Presently, the helium used in these processes is discarded, along with substantial quantities of hydrogen. TDA Research proposes to design and build a compact, portable and cost effective membrane system for recovering, purifying and storing both helium and hydrogen. Recovered helium containing less than a few percent residual hydrogen can be re-used as a purge gas. The ultrapure hydrogen recovered concurrently may be burned as fuel or used to generate clean electricity in fuel cells. The performance of these high selectivity membranes has been demonstrated and is ready for implementation to solve this problem. In Phase I we will fabricate membranes and assess their performance by processing a simulated purge gas stream and determining the purities of the helium and hydrogen. We will also carry out a detailed engineering feasibility and cost analysis to determine the technical viability of scaling up the process in Phase II. TDA's system will help NASA conserve valuable hydrogen and the United State's rapidly dwindling and expensive non-renewable helium resource.

Principal Investigator:

Steven Paglieri
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

John D. Wright
Vice President
Small Business Information at Submission:

TDA Research, Inc.
12345 West 52nd Avenue Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-1916

EIN/Tax ID: 841043375
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Colorado School of Mines
1500 Illinois St.
Golden, CO 80401-1887
Contact: Michele Land