NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X5.01-9824
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Oxygen Production from Lunar Regolith
PROPOSAL TITLE: Lunar Sulfur Capture System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Pioneer Astronautics
11111 W. 8th Avenue, Unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 - 5516
(303) 980-0890

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mark Berggren
Pioneer Astronautics 11111 W. 8th Ave; Unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 - 5516
(303) 980-0231

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The Lunar Sulfur Capture System (LSCS) is an innovative method to recover sulfur compounds from lunar soil using sorbents derived primarily from in-situ resources. Most of the sulfur released from lunar soil during higher-temperature thermal treatment is trapped by the LSCS at lower temperatures on iron oxides present in lunar soil. As needed, small amounts of polishing sorbents are used to reduce equilibrium sulfur concentrations to the low ppm level. After sorbents become saturated, sulfur compounds are desorbed and converted to useful sulfur products. Sulfur is present in concentrations of about 0.1 percent in lunar soils and can be recovered by the LSCS as a useful product from in-situ resource utilization (ISRU). The LSCS can capture and recover sulfur from lunar soil as a primary product during thermal desorption of volatile compounds or during thermal reduction ISRU processes used for oxygen production. Removal of sulfur compounds is required during ISRU to prevent electrolyzer damage, catalyst poisoning, and equipment corrosion. The LSCS is applicable to thermal ISRU reduction processes in which sulfur is released in forms such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S), carbonyl sulfide (COS), or carbon disulfide (CS2).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary initial application of the LSCS is for lunar sulfur capture and recovery. The LSCS has direct use to both protect ISRU hardware and catalysts while producing useful amounts of sulfur for other lunar ISRU applications. Implementation of the LSCS will proceed through the SBIR Phase 1, 2, and 3 programs, with increasing levels of development achieved through each step. During each phase, Pioneer will identify the LSCS requirements and will establish the commercial relationships needed to provide materials, fabrication, and implementation strategies for NASA lunar application.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
One non-NASA commercial application of LSCS is the large-market target of integrated gasification combined cycle power generation from coal. Other smaller-market opportunities are at least as likely to benefit from the LSCS applied to reduce emissions and waste disposal requirements from a variety of industrial applications. These opportunities are likely to grow as de-centralized fuel preparation technologies are advanced for conversion of biomass and other potentially contaminated feeds to alcohol and other fuels. Pioneer will be actively monitoring these activities and the potential applications and the use of the LSCS technologies. As appropriate, Pioneer will make contact with those involved in these markets to establish the business feasibility of the LSCS to terrestrial applications.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

In-situ Resource Utilization

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50