NASA SBIR 2022-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

Proposal Information

Proposal Number:
22-1- H4.07-1817
Subtopic Title:
Low Volume, Power and Mass CO2 and Humidity Control for xEMU
Proposal Title:
High Capacity RCA Sorbents for Increased Cycle Times

Small Business Concern

Reaction Systems, LLC
17301 West Colfax Avenue, #160, Golden, CO 80401
(303) 216-2950                                                                                                                                                                                

Principal Investigator:

Dr. David Wickham
17301 West Colfax Avenue, #160, CO 80401 - 4892
(720) 352-7161                                                                                                                                                                                

Business Official:

Todd Leeson
17301 West Colfax Avenue, #160, CO 80401 - 4892
(303) 881-7992                                                                                                                                                                                

Summary Details:

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :                                                                                                                                                          
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End: 4
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words):

NASA is interested in improving the method to control CO2 and water in the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) to meet the ambitious objectives of the Artemis program, which includes human presence on the surface of the Moon and Mars. These levels must be controlled to established values of 2.2 mm Hg at a metabolic rate of 2.44 g/min. Historically, the Metox has been used to remove CO2 from the suit. The sorbent in the Metox has a finite capacity during an EVA and must be regenerated after the mission is complete. The capacity limits mission times, which can only be increased by making the Metox larger. The technology that is planned to replace the Metox is the RCA which utilizes two beds that are alternately used to remove CO2 and H2O and then regenerated by exposure to space vacuum. The RCA has been under development for over 10 years and has utilized an amine-based sorbent (SA9T). Although SA9T has good reversible CO2 uptakes, higher capacities are desired to maintain low CO2 levels and reduce O2 losses. In addition, this sorbent emits low levels of ammonia which must be removed from the suit using a separate technology.

In this SBIR Phase I project, Reaction Systems will develop new sorbents that will outperform SA9T and at the same time exhibit reduced ammonia emissions. Reaction Systems’ strategy to accomplish this goal consists of two important components. The first component consists of identifying sorbents that have high probability to perform better than the SA9T. Reaction Systems has demonstrated expertise in the development of advanced sorbents for CO2 control in both EVA and cabin applications and will also employ a consultant who is an expert in gas surface interactions and in the synthesis and characterization of organic compounds. The second component of our strategy is the application of a rapid screening method that will provide accurate and relevant performance data so compounds with the highest potential can be quickly identified.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):

This technology could be used for CO2 control in a space craft cabin or on the surface of the Moon or Mars (Artemis goals). The CDRA, used on the ISS for CO2 control, uses pressure and temperature swing adsorption cycle to remove CO2. The CO2 is removed with a mol sieve that is heated to 400°F during regeneration. The cycling causes the sorbent to break down into dust, which clogs filters or ends up in the cabin air. A sorbent that does not require a temperature increase for regeneration would reduce power consumption and eliminate dust.

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):

This could also be used for control of CO2 emissions from power plants. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased from 280 ppm to over 400 ppm over the last 50 years primarily due to CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. An effective method to remove CO2 could be used to remove CO2 from the effluent and compress it into a concentrated liquid for sequestration, storage, or use.

Duration:     6

Form Generated on 05/25/2022 15:44:43