Novel Membranes for Artificial Gills

Period of Performance: 10/13/1998 - 04/15/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave. Array
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Porous inorganic membranes have been traditionally used in microfiltration and ultrafiltration, and with the recent development of Angstrom scale porous materials, have received increased attention for gas separations. The high temperature and chemical stability of porous inorganic membranes are well known. In addition, they generally have fluxes that are several orders magnitude higher than polymer membranes. TDA Research Inc, (TDA) has developed a novel hydrophobic, mesoporous inorganic membrane. The surface properties and pore size distribution of the membrane may be tailored over a wide range to optimize performance, and the membrane itself is inexpensive and easy to manufacture. The membrane will be incorporated into an artificial gill for extracting oxygen from sea water that can be used to provide oxygen to the propulsion system of long range, autonomous underwater vehicle. In Phase I, TDA will synthesize a series of membranes, characterize the membranes, and test them for oxygen recovery from water in the laboratory. In addition, a detailed engineering and cost analysis will be undertaken to determine the optimum design of the artificial gill. In Phase II, a prototype of the gill will be designed, fabricated and tested.