NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X1.02-9266
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Gas, Liquid, and Solid Processing to Produce Oxygen and Fuels from In-Situ Resources
PROPOSAL TITLE: Novel CO2 Separation and Methanation for Oxygen and Fuel Production

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: 2
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) proposes a novel efficient, compact, and lightweight MicrolithREG-based CO2 separator and methanation reactor to separate CO2 from the Martian atmosphere and convert the CO2 with H2 to methane and water vapor with high CO2 conversion and high CH4 selectivity. This offers a lightweight, compact, and efficient implementation of a Mars atmosphere-fed adsorption/Sabatier/electrolysis solution for producing fuel and oxygen. CO2 conversion is expected to be ≥90% with near 100% CH4 selectivity at high throughputs and at low operating temperatures (≤~350oC). The technology will allow use of Martian in-situ resources for producing rocket propellant, reactants, and life support needs such as oxygen to significantly extend the duration and range of human/robotic planetary exploration. PCI has separately developed a regenerable CO2 separator and a CO2 methanation reactor through SBIR projects for the space station and spacecraft applications, demonstrated to be superior (i.e., lower power consumption, lighter, and smaller size) to existing technologies such as pellets and microchannels. This integrated system can contribute significantly to NASA's Martian in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) architecture, offering a potential major step forward towards establishing a human outpost in Mars.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This technology offers a novel integrated in situ resource utilization concept for Martian atmosphere utilization and processing to support oxygen and fuel production during human exploration, offering a potential major step forward towards establishing a human outpost in Mars. Compared to existing technologies, this offers potential for significant reductions in size and weight while making efficient use of hydrogen and power as well as in-situ Martian resources.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
One opportunity is as a methanation reactor for high-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and molten carbonate fuel cells. PCI has a leading fuel reforming technology (that is supplanting microchannel reformers) which has been tested with SOFCs. The ability to convert the reformate gas from the fuel pre-reformer into methane (to be converted to syngas through endothermic steam reforming in the fuel cell stack) could add thousands of hours of life to the stack through temperature moderation. There is also the potential for use in methanation reactors for other processes such as the Haber process for producing ammonia (used to make fertilizer and ammunition) and as part of the Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) for cleaner power production from coal. The CO2 separation subsystem also may have high value, as a potentially more compact and efficient alternative to conventional pressure swing adsorption systems for targeted applications, e.g. H2 separation.

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.)
In Situ Manufacturing
Resource Extraction
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12