Helium-Hydrogen Recovery System

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX11CI44P
Agency Tracking Number: 100115
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: T10.02
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave., Wheat Ridge, CO, 80033-1916
DUNS: 181947730
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Steven Paglieri
 Principal Investigator
 (303) 940-5388
 spaglieri@tda.com
Business Contact
 John Wright
Title: Vice President
Phone: (303) 940-2300
Email: krhodus@tda.com
Research Institution
 Colorado School of Mines
 Michele Land
 1500 Illinois St.
Golden, CO, 80401-1887
 () -
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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