Space Certification Creates Business Opportunity
In a relationship facilitated by the Space Foundation, TransTech Corporation is now using the petroleum remediation product (PRP) technology developed by Universal Remediation, Inc., to clean up potential spills of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) associated with testing transformers for PCB content.
PRP technology is officially recognized by the Space Foundation as a Certified Space Technology and its manufacturer, Pittsburgh-based Universal Remediation, Inc., was inducted into the Space Foundation’s Space Technology Hall of Fame in 2008.
TransTech, a Window Rock, Ariz.-based green technology company that tests energized electrical transformers for PCB content for utility companies, approached the Space Foundation last year, seeking a partner to help with the clean-up process in situations where leaks are detected or where the testing process creates a spill. PCBs were used in transformers until they were banned in the 1970s due to high toxicity.
Kevin Cook, the Space Foundation’s Director of Space Awareness Programs, brought the companies together for discussions, which resulted in a sublicensing agreement for a new PCB “Spill Kit” based on PRP technology. TransTech is also using PRP technology in its British Columbia-based Canadian unit. “This is another excellent example of Space Technology providing solutions to challenges here on Earth,” said Cook.
PRP – in essence, hollow spheres of beeswax – can be spread over water or soil to absorb, contain, and safely dispose of hydrocarbon pollutants. The technology grew out of NASA biological encapsulation research and experimentation in the orbital production of microspheres. Industry scientists worked with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Marshall Space Flight Center in the early 1990s to develop PRP and, in 2004, Universal Remediation rapidly commercialized the technology.
About the Space Certification Program and the Space Technology Hall of Fame
Created by the Space Foundation in cooperation with NASA, the Space Certification Program raises awareness of the significant and practical benefits of technologies originally developed for the space program that have been adapted into products and services that improve life on Earth. Certification is divided into three categories - Technology, Education, and Entertainment - and plays an integral role in the Foundation’s mission to increase public awareness and appreciation of the practical benefits of space.
The Space Technology Hall of Fame® further increases public awareness of the benefits resulting from space exploration programs with an annual recognition of products that originated with space technology as well as the innovating organizations and individuals that transformed space technology into commercial products. Selection criteria includes economic benefit, public/private/partnership investment, public awareness, societal benefit, and longevity. Selected technologies undergo a rigorous due diligence process and are inducted into the Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the National Space Symposium each April. The 2009 ceremony will be held April 2 at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo., and will feature Bill Nye The Science Guy®.