NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-2 X2.01-8688
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Cabin Atmosphere Revitalization and Particulate Management
PROPOSAL TITLE: Novel Catalytic Reactor for CO2 Reduction via Sabatier Process

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Precision Combustion, Inc.
410 Sackett Point Road
North Haven, CT 06473 - 3106
(203) 287-3700

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Christian Junaedi
410 Sackett Point Rd.
North Haven, CT 06473 - 3106
(203) 287-3700 Extension :219

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
A novel short contact time Microlith Sabatier reactor system for CO2 reduction offers a significant advance in support of manned spaceflight. Compared to current and prospective alternatives (including microchannels), the reactor will be much smaller and lighter, more energy and resource efficient, and more durable. In the spacecraft cabin atmosphere revitalization system (ARS), the utilization of CO2 to produce life support consumables, such as O2 and H2O, via Sabatier process as part of the CO2 Reduction Assembly (CRA) is an important function for both low-earth orbit and long-term manned space explorations, and also has application for lunar/Martian ISRU concepts. The maturation of this technology will significantly reduce launch weight requirements and the need of re-supply from Earth. Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) proposes to build on Phase 1 proof of concept success to develop, demonstrate, and deliver an integrated MicrolithREG-based ground test Sabatier reactor Development Unit (SDU) for CO2 reduction, with collaborative support from a systems integrator. The SDU will convert CO2 and H2 to methane and water, achieving close-to-equilibrium CO2 conversions at high throughputs and at low operating temperatures (≤350oC). Major systems integrator participation will help guide the program. TRL is now 4 and will be advanced to 5.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
CO2 Reduction System/Methanation: Precision Combustion's Sabatier reactor will create oxygen in cabin closed-loop atmosphere revitalization systems (ARS) and Lunar/Martian ISRU concepts that are key for sustained space missions. The technology will provide an ultra-compact, high efficiency catalytic CO2 methanation reactor for converting cabin air or lunar/Mars-sourced CO2 with H2 to methane and water vapor, the latter for use with an electrolyzer to generate O2 for spacecraft cabin ARS and mobile EVA applications. The methane can be used as fuel, e.g. for surface operations or return thrust, or for other chemicals manufacture in advanced ISRU applications. Technology variants of the Microlith reactor may emerge for other ISRU manufacturing. The technology's minimized size and maximized efficiency and durability will significantly reduce launch weight for long missions, and offers high value added for NASA

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The technology offers a potential breakthrough that can also be integrated with process intensification techniques. Targeted non-NASA applications for a Microlith chemicals reactor include methanation reactors to be used in conjunction with solid oxide or molten carbonate fuel cells for power production, improved Haber process operations for producing ammonia for fertilizer or ammunition, and the general case of selectivity-sensitive chemicals manufacturing where temperature control and the unique Microlith geometry may offer advantages (including production of formaldehyde and methanol, and biogas conversion). Some of these processes currently require very large capital investments in large plants, allowing potential for a small, effective and selective reactor to find targeted applications of value.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Air Revitalization and Conditioning

Form Generated on 08-06-10 17:29