Pancopia Awarded $350,000 to Continue Development of NASA MAX System for Efficient Water Recycling in Space and Future Earthside Application in Agriculture.

HAMPTON, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES, September 30, 2022 / /–The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that Pancopia, Inc. will receive a total of $350,000 for research to expand on their current technology and knowledge of wastewater recycling systems for space-based application and ensure a system that is efficient, reliable, and economically sustainable. This follow-on research will also have effects on the applicability of the technology in the future on water needs within livestock agriculture.

Pancopia has worked with NASA since 2015, when the company received its first in a series of contracts for the development of a biological wastewater treatment system for space-based application. In 2018, through NASA’s Game Changing Development Program, Pancopia proposed the investigation of a second-stage reactor that aids in ammonia treatment and removal for wastewater recycling purposes. The company continued to develop this technology by means of Small Business Innovation Research contracts (SBIRs) and other NASA funds when it was awarded a second-phase SBIR contract in 2019.

Now in 2022, Pancopia will further their research to produce the next generation design of biological treatment systems for waste purification in space exploration. These new reactors will have increased capacity and automation for nitrogen management within the future of space-based work. Pancopia’s technology has potential for application in other fields that would benefit from biological wastewater treatment. The company is currently implementing other technologies in the livestock sector for agricultural wastewater treatment and nitrogen reduction for water reuse.

MAX-1 is one of four identical 11L reactors fabricated for biological wastewater treatment

Company founder and CEO Bill Cumbie observed, “This grant will permit Pancopia to improve on our technology for NASA and strengthen our conception of biological water purification systems by leveraging past research for DOE and USDA. Pancopia looks forward to the opportunity to help NASA pioneer the next generation of full water recycling, both in space and here on Earth.”

Hampton, Virginia Mayor Donnie Tuck noted that the city is proud to have supported Pancopia as it has grown over the years and is eagerly awaiting the world changing technologies that may be introduced and implemented in the coming years as Hampton continues to support its businesses.

“The NASA Life Support Systems Project (LSSP) will follow this development closely and integrate this technology into its future technology development plans given continued success,” said Walt Schneider, project manager of NASA’s LSSP. “The…LSSP has determined that this SBIR is significant to our goals.”

About Pancopia

Pancopia, Inc. is an environmental technology company developing economically beneficial water purification systems that simultaneously improve the environment. The company is pioneering biological water recovery for space-based application for NASA and retrofitting these technologies for commercialization within the municipal and agricultural sectors through other projects with the Department of Energy and the USDA. Pancopia is headquartered in Hampton, Virginia and is part of a growing high tech environmental industry centered in this area.

Rachel Willinger, Business Manager
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