The proposed Bifunctional Regenerative Electrochemical Air Transformation for Human Environments (BREATHE) for life support and habitation is part of the atmosphere revitalization equipment necessary to provide and maintain a livable environment within the pressurized cabin of crewed spacecraft. Sustainable Innovations (SI) has developed a novel solid state technology for gas compression based on its proven hydrogen concentration, generation and compression technology that we are currently developing for NASA applications. The technology is solid state with no moving parts, silent, electrically and thermally efficient, and scalable and capable of high pressure – routinely as high as 4,500 psi and demonstrated to 12,500 psi. The Phase 1 objective is to develop a proof of concept device and demonstrate the feasibility of the technical approach for a solid state electrochemical CO2 compressor that will also be suitable for other logistically important gases: CO2, O2 and H2. SI will develop high pressure BREATHE system architecture, focusing on integrating components and making the electrochemical stack lightweight. In addition to decreasing weight, volume and cost, this will increase reliability and durability.
The BREATHE system is designed to provide critical life support on-board spacecraft during long flight time missions. In this application the system would be sourcing CO2 from crew exhalation, and compressing it for supply to electrochemical reduction systems for converting this resource to logistic fuels with oxygen as a byproduct for human life support. This is a critical function for closed environment life support wherein carbon dioxide management can be a limiting factor.
Advancement of SI High Pressure Electrochemical Technologies - We anticipate that the results of the high pressure architecture technology development effort for this project will be fed to Sustainable Innovations pipeline of products which also includes the H2RENEW™, a system that separates and compresses hydrogen for industrial applications and the CO2RENEW™, a system that converts waste CO2 to useful fuels and commodity chemicals.