Separation and Enrichment of Xenon in Air

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG03-02ER83495
Agency Tracking Number: 70344S02-I
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Membrane Technology And Research, Inc. (mtr)
1360 Willow Road, Suite 103, Menlo Park, CA, 94025
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Hans Wijmans
 (650) 328-2228
Business Contact
 Elizabeth Weiss
Title: 70344
Phone: (650) 328-2228
Research Institution
70344 The xenon content of air is a marker for underground nuclear tests. However, the gas must be separated and enriched to facilitate analysis because its concentration is extremely low. This project will fabricate a membrane concentrator, based on nitrogen-permeable membranes, that is able to enrich the xenon content of air at least 30-fold. In Phase I, candidate membranes will be prepared and evaluated as membrane stamps to determine nitrogen/xenon selectivity and nitrogen permeability. The best membranes will be fabricated into bench-scale modules containing one square meter of membrane for evaluation with nitrogen/xenon mixtures. Based on the data obtained, a design for the concentration device will be prepared. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: A membrane concentrator to separate xenon from air to facilitate analysis would have a limited market; however, once developed, similar devices could be used to separate toxic VOCs from air, which would have a much larger market.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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