Brine Dewatering Using Ultrasonic Nebulization

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$600,000.00
Award Year:
2010
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
NNX10CA21C
Agency Tracking Number:
085271
Solicitation Year:
2008
Solicitation Topic Code:
X2.03
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
UMPQUA Research Company
PO Box 609, Myrtle Creek, OR, 97457-0102
Hubzone Owned:
Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
068766781
Principal Investigator:
James Akse
Principal Investigator
(541) 863-2653
akse@urcmail.net
Business Contact:
John Aker
Business Official
(541) 541-2655
aker@urcmail.net
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
Recovery of water from brine is critically important for future manned space exploration. Resupply of water is prohibitively costly for such extended missions. Water reclamation processes typically recover 90-95% of the water present in wastewater formed by combining urine, hygiene water, and humidity condensate with the remaining concentrated in brine. This concentrated brine contains a significant amount of water, potentially a very valuable resource. The proposed prototype development will recover virtually all of the remaining water using an ultrasonic brine dewatering system (UBDS). In the UBDS process, extremely small nebulized droplets of the brine are created ultrasonically at the brine–air interface. Small droplets enable quicker drying due to their high relative surface area. This is particularly important when drying brines that contain thermally labile materials, which require relatively low temperature drying. The UBDS prototype has no nozzles to become plugged, requires little power, is simple and small, requires minimal astronaut attention and is compatible with continuous, closed cycle operation that can be made gravity independent. The innovative Phase 2 prototype will fulfill the unmet need to significantly improve water loop closure during extended manned missions. The Phase 2 project will provide an automated UBDS prototype that will be delivered to NASA for further testing.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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