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Center Innovation Fund: JSC CIF

Coiled Brine Recovery Assembly (CoBRA) (COBRA)

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

The Coiled Brine Recovery Assembly (CoBRA) project will result in a proof-of-concept demonstration for a lightweight, compact, affordable, regenerable and disposable solution to brine water recovery. The heart of CoBRA is an evaporator that produces water vapor from brine. This evaporator leverages a novel design that enables passive transport of brine from place to place within the system. While it will be necessary to build or modify a system for testing the CoBRA concept, the emphasis of this project will be on developing the evaporator itself. This project will utilize a "test early, test often" approach, building at least one trial evaporator to guide the design of the final product.   

Brine water recovery is the final link in achieving closure of the water loop. It's a game-changer; if mastered, a technology gap is closed in providing a water supply for manned deep-space exploration missions. It is a challenging problem, however. When wastewater brines are dried, the residual is inevitably a viscous goo, laden with particles of precipitated solids. This brine residual causes problems for traditional recovery systems: clogging Pitot tubes, causing bearings to seize, fouling heat transfer surfaces. The key feature of CoBRA that makes it a reliable life support technology is its passive technique for transporting brine and brine residual in microgravity. This technique prevents sensitive components, such as those aforementioned in traditional systems, from coming into contact with brine and brine residual. Instead of fighting brine residual, the Coiled Brine Recovery Assembly (CoBRA) system embraces it.

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Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

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