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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU research recognized for helping small business

New Mexico State University research aimed at improving the manufacturing process for an environmentally friendly cleaning solution is gaining recognition.

NMSU Chemical Engineering Professor David Rockstraw worked with Sound Earth, a New York-based company, to develop a technique for keeping one of its cleansers uniform.

The work was part of SATOP, the Space Alliance Technology Outreach program, created by NASA. The program makes up to 40 hours of technical research and other assistance available to small businesses free of charge. NMSU is one of a number of SATOP partners including private corporations, universities and NASA centers.

Rockstraw said the makers of the all-natural cleaning mixture, called "Velvet Hammer," had trouble preventing the solution from separating.

"I helped them develop a process to suspend the solid in the liquid," said Rockstraw.

In an e-mail, SATOP Deputy Program Director A.J. Lucas said the company implemented Rockstraw's suggestions and was pleased with the solution he provided. The project will be included in SATOP-NY's upcoming newsletter.

Rockstraw said he has done about 20 SATOP-related projects in the last few years. He said the research is vital to many small businesses.

"There's no doubt this work helps other people," Rockstraw said. "Some of these businesses would not have survived without it."

SATOP is just one of many NMSU outreach efforts aimed both at educating and improving the lives of those in New Mexico and across the country.

More information on SATOP is available at www.spacetechsolutions.com.