NOVEMBER 23, 2020, GOLDEN, CO – NASA’S Kennedy Space Center today licensed its new patented Ammonia Recovery System to Colorado-based IX Water Treatment, a division of IX Power Clean Water for commercial development. “We are looking forward to bringing this amazing technology from space to terrestrial markets,” said John R. (Grizz) Deal, CEO of IX Power Clean Water (aka IX Water).
The NASA system was developed for the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems on the International Space Station for processing urine. Beyond that specific application, the system has the potential to process other types of ammonia-rich influents. The novel, regenerable struvite-formation system for the capture of ammonia has three primary functions: 1) removal of ammonia from wastewater using a media that is highly selective for ammonia, 2) capture of the ammonia for later use (e.g., as a fertilizer), and 3) regeneration of the capture media for reuse in the system.
There are many commercial applications possible for the technology that IX Water will be investigating. Some of those applications include food processing, agricultural wastewater (swine and dairy farms, etc.), fertilizer and chemical plants, wool textiles, electroplating, municipal water treatment, reclaimed and recycled water, and grey water. In addition to manufacturing and processing plants, the technology has potential for multi-unit housing complexes, resorts, government complexes, and military installations.
Current ammonia removal technologies involve biological processes or ion exchange, and neither of these met NASA’s ammonia recovery needs. Biological processes have high complexity, high volume requirements, and introduce contaminants in the effluent. Ion exchange is not very selective for ammonia, and requires regeneration, which produces impure ammonia and other cation/regenerate effluent. To address these challenges, NASA developed its own technology which has a higher capacity than traditional absorbents. It is also more selective for ammonia than typical ion-exchange resins. NASA’s goal was to be better and more cost-effective than ammonia stripping via gas or steam.
“After nearly 30 years of commercializing US Department of Energy innovations, we are very excited to be commercializing NASA technology,” said Deal.
About IX Power Clean Water
IX Power Clean Water is an innovative provider of cleantech solutions designed to treat and clean industrial wastewater so that freshwater resources can be preserved for families, crops, and communities. The company was founded by IX Power LLC, a technology commercialization and product development firm spun-out from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Offices for IX Power Clean Water are located in Golden, Colorado and Dalian, China.