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In-Space Plant Nutrient: Acicular Surface Modified Polymers for Aiding Faceted Sodium Chloride Separation from Urine

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC20C0321
Agency Tracking Number: 205335
Amount: $124,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T6
Solicitation Number: STTR_20_P1
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-08-25
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-09-30
Small Business Information
2531 West 237th Street, Suite 127
Torrance, CA 90505-5245
United States
DUNS: 114060861
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Anamika Ray
 (310) 530-2011
Business Contact
 Kisholoy Goswami
Phone: (310) 530-2011
Research Institution
 University of Utah
201 Presidents Circle, Room 201
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9009
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

nbsp;For long duration space travel to be practical, regenerative life support capabilities are needed for continual recycling of system resources, including waste streams (urine and wastewater). Nutrient recycling is essential to providing important nutrients and fertilizer for plants. NASA seeks approaches for using in situ waste streams for this purpose. InnoSense LLC (ISL) will develop ACSUMOPtrade; (Acicular Surface Modified Polymers). ACSUMOP will promote faceted sodium chloride (NaCl) crystal growth and its separation from urine and wastewater in the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) loop. To demonstrate the feasibility in Phase I, ISL will: (1) synthesize and characterize ACSUMOP with varying surface chemistries and morphology and apply as coating on a plastic surface, (2) study the parameters that influence NaCl crystallization on the ACSUMOP surface, (3) demonstrate temperature invariance of NaCl extraction from a solution of mixed salts, (4) measure the crystal sizes and zeta potential of the solutions, and (5) develop and evaluate an ACSUMOP breadboard to extract NaCl and regenerate it using simple mechanical means. In Phase II, ISL will optimize performance of ACSUMOP by: (1) optimizing the surface chemistry of ACSUMOP to improve selectivity to NaCl and durability under operating conditions, (2) evaluating the crystallization rate and solubility control under practical operating conditions in space, (3) scaling up for a 10 L wastewater tank, and (4) developing the automated system to insert, extract and recover the crystallized NaCl regenerating ACSUMOP for reuse. An engineering delivery unit (EDU) level prototype will be delivered to NASA for evaluation and eventual space qualification following Phase II.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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