Researchers Honored for Submarine Air Quality System

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and colleagues on May 3 received the 2012 Federal Laboratory Consortium Interagency Partnership Award for developing a system to clean the air aboard submarines. Called Self Assembled Monolayers on Mesoporous Supports, or SAMMS, the technology is “based on a new class of hybrid nanoporous materials that can rapidly capture contaminants such as carbon dioxide, mercury, or arsenic directly from the atmosphere or liquid environments,” according to the lab’s May 3 news release announcing the prize. It says SAMMS can provide a controlled release of the carbon dioxide using a gentle application of heat or vacuum.

The award is presented annually to employees from at least two different federal agencies or laboratories who have "collaboratively accomplished outstanding work in transferring a technology." In this case, PNNL, the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division’s Ship Systems Engineering Station, and the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command cooperated on the project, which sought an entirely new way to clean the air inside the confined space of a submarine. (Carderock is the Navy’s center of excellence for ship systems, specializing in environmental quality system, ship design, and related disciplines.)

"This is a new application of a technology that was previously developed by PNNL to remove heavy metal contamination from ground and surface waters found at many DOE waste sites," said PNNL Material Scientist Glen Fryxell, one of the PNNL inventors of the technology.

The SAMMS materials can absorb large quantities of liquid and airborne contaminants without creating secondary waste and are disposable as non-hazardous waste, according to the release, which described the current Navy air-cleaning technology as “a bulky, heavy, corrosive and malodorous liquid process that produces a significant organic solvent waste stream.” It has been used for more than 50 years by the Navy and the navies of many other countries, according to PNNL.

Download Center

  • Monitoring and Reporting on Air Emissions for Regulators and the Real World

    When it comes to managing compliance and regulatory issues surrounding air emissions, there are no easy jobs. With interviews from practitioners from American Electric Power, Red Cedar Gathering, Trinity Consultants, and Cority, this eBook provides practical advice to advance your air emissions monitoring and reporting programs.

  • What Every EHS Professional Should Know About ESG

    Join experts from Arcadis and Cority on April 27th to learn the most common ESG reporting frameworks and how technology can help you improve reporting efficiency, identify areas for improvement, and create defensible audit trails.

  • Green Quadrant EHS Software 2021

    Read the new report by independent analyst firm, Verdantix, to get an unbiased comparison of the 22 most prominent EHS software vendors in the industry.

  • RFP Template for Waste Management Software

    Learn the essential questions to ask when evaluating waste management software solutions with this free, ready-to-use RFP template

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

Featured Webinar