Aspen Systems, Inc. (ASI), a leading materials research and product development firm, was recently awarded two Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contracts totaling approximately $0.75 M for research, engineering and development of its facilitated membrane based materials technology to specific sensor applications. In this Phase II program, ASI is developing advanced organic sulfur sensors for an in-situ monitoring organic sulfur compounds in the high temperature logistic fuel processing lines.
In addition, another Phase II proposal has been selected for award by the U.S. Air Force (approximately $0.75 M). In this project, ASI is developing extremely compact and energy efficient water recovery systems from fuel cell exhaust. In this water recovery process, water vapor (steam) in the hot fuel cell exhaust is selectively absorbed by hydrophilic and gas impermeable membrane tubes that transfer water to the permeate side of the membrane where it can be recovered. Water can be recovered either as pure steam, or steam/air mixture.
Preliminary performance tests indicated that 90-94% of exhaust gas moisture can be recovered using an air sweep. Currently, Aspen is optimizing the water perm-selective membrane structures and process parameters to increase water recovery efficiency and to explore the applicability of the water recovery system and technology to other fuel cell systems and processes.