U.S.-Russian nanofilter enters Space Technology Hall of Fame

April 15, 2005
Recently inducted into hall of fame in Colorado Springs, NanoCeram Superfilters -- able to extract bacteria, cysts, turbidity and even virus -- were developed for spacecraft. Evolving from Russian nanofiber technology, they now purify water for industrial, residential, recreational uses...

ARLINGTON, VA, April 13, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- An efficient "superfilter" able to extract bacteria, cysts, turbidity and even viruses from water was among four innovative space-based technologies inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame last week in Colorado Springs.

The NanoCeram® Superfilter, developed by Argonide Corp. of Sanford, Fla., uses nanofibers originally developed at the Design Technology Center (DTC) in Tomsk, Russia.

DTC, previously known as the Republican Engineering Center, developed prototype materials for the Soviet nuclear weapons arsenal. During the 1970's DTC perfected a process for manufacturing nanotechnology materials. Argonide founder Fred Tepper recognized the commercial potential of these unique nano-fibers and powders. In 1994, Tepper helped to launch the U.S. Industry Coalition (USIC), a non-profit association of U.S. companies interested in technology commercialization with former Soviet weapons scientists and engineers.

USIC members' partnerships are supported by Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (IPP), a nonproliferation program sponsored by the National Nuclear Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy. IPP assists former Soviet weapons of mass destruction scientists and engineers to transition to long-term, sustainable employment in peaceful, civilian technologies.

In 1997, Argonide and DTC launched their first IPP project, together with DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. After observing the bio-activity of the nanofibers, Argonide won two NASA-sponsored SBIR grants in 2001 and 2002 to develop advanced water recovery systems for long duration space flights.

The NanoCeram filters were found to provide unsurpassed filtration efficiency. Comprised of nanometer size particles, these filters far exceed current filtration systems and can handle the most difficult treatment requirements for industrial, residential and recreational water purification.

Today, Argonide markets the filters for multiple applications, including: laboratory separations; residential drinking water; purifying water from biological agents; concentrator/collectors for detecting biological agents; and providing purified water for industrial, chemical and pharmaceutical processing.

The technology was inducted into the 2005 Space Technology Hall of Fame on April 7 at the 21st Space Symposium, an event widely regarded as the premier gathering of the space industry, with more than 6,500 attendees this year.

Founded in 1988 by the Space Foundation, in cooperation with NASA, the Space Technology Hall of Fame honors the innovators who have transformed space technology into commercial products, to increase public awareness of the benefits of space technology, and to encourage further innovation.

Space Foundation President and CEO Elliot G. Pulham said, "The 2005 Hall of Fame inductees represent space technologies that save lives and improve the quality of life for thousands of people every day. They are great examples of why what we do in space matters on Earth."

Three other space-related technologies inducted into the Hall of Fame include the InnerVue Diagnostic Scope System; Outlast Smart Fabric Technology; and Portable Hyperspectral Imaging Systems.

Founded in 1994, the Argonide (www.argonide.com) mission is to develop and market new products based on nanotechnology. The company's international business perspective has led to collaborative work in Italy, Japan, Singapore, and in particular with Russian institutes active in nanotechnology.

The U.S. Industry Coalition (www.usic.net) is a non-profit association of U.S. businesses actively engaged in our nation's nonproliferation and national security efforts through the Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (IPP) program at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. IPP engages former Soviet weapons of mass destruction scientists and engineers in peaceful and sustainable commercial pursuits.

Founded in 1983 and based in Colorado Springs, Colo., the Space Foundation (www.spacefoundation.org) is a national nonprofit organization that vigorously advances civil, commercial, and national security space endeavors and educational excellence. The Space Foundation has offices in Washington, D.C., and Cape Canaveral, Fla.


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