Regenerable sorbents have been gaining increased attention for direct carbon capture to sequester atmospheric CO2 for terrestrial applications. Since the development of SA9T for the Rapid Cycle Amine (RCA) system in the 2000s, studies have continued to investigate a multitude of new sorbents with enhanced performance specifications. These new sorbent candidates in many cases have direct application to closed environment CO2 removal (space-based vehicle and submarines). New regenerable sorbent formulations have the potential to benefit current space-based applications that rely upon the current state of the art (SOA) candidate. Sorbents with improved CO2 and H2O capacity can also result in potential reductions in mass, volume, and pressure loss in new systems. Paragon, through internally funded research activities, has developed the sorbent manufacturing expertise to develop new candidates that meet and exceed the key performance metrics laid out in this SBIR solicitation. These new sorbents will be chemically tuned and experimentally investigated with the goal of achieving higher working capacities for CO2 and H2O. In addition, the test facility and required hardware to accurately evaluate sorbents in a simulated atmospheric environment for space-based applications has also been developed and operated by Paragon.
As clearly defined in the SBIR Topic H4.07 description, NASA has a need for new technology alternatives to the RCA in order to establish a robust suit program. The sorbent development proposed herein is in direct response to this application. Paragon is positioned well to leverage its current sorbet development and meet the requirements laid out in the SBIR solicitation.
The technology developed through this SBIR effort will be well-suited for systems that rely on vacuum desorption during extravehicular activity operations. Promising sorbents will also be potential candidates for thermally regenerated systems in spacecraft cabins. Enhanced regenerable sorbents for CO2 and H2O control will enable reductions in overall system specifications, which will be a significant advantage as NASA begins to explore beyond Low Earth Orbit.
Commercial space efforts will benefit from the use of new sorbents for CO2 and H2O control, particularly as they begin to support larger crew sizes over longer durations. Another area of particular interest is in the development of atmospheric revitalization for the Navy, and such a sorbent will be a promising solution for CO2 and H2O control onboard submersibles.