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Electrochemical cell for obtaining oxygen from carbon dioxide atmospheresFor manned missions to Mars to become a reality, an efficient and reliable means of obtaining oxygen from the carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere will be required. Otherwise, the high cost of transporting the oxygen needed to sustain the astronauts will severely restrict the expedition to the martian surface. Recently, the use of electrochemical devices has been explored as a means of obtaining oxygen from the carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere. In these devices, oxygen ions diffuse through solid oxide membranes, thus, separating oxygen from the other gases presented. This phenomenon has only recently been explored as a means of obtaining large quantities of oxygen from toxic atmospheres, although first observed by Walter nernst in 1899. Nernst observed that stabilized zirconia will conduct oxygen ions when an electrical potential is applied across metallic electrodes applied to the ceramic membrane. Diatomic oxygen molecules are dissociated at the positive electrode/electrolyte interface. The oxygen ions enter the ceramic body due to the ion density gradient which is produced by the electrical potential across the electrolytic membrane. Once the ions have diffused through the membrane, they reform diatomic oxygen molecules at the anode. The separation of oxygen from carbon dioxide is achieved by the combination of thermal and electrochemical processes. The thermal decomposition of carbon dioxide (at 1000 C) results in the production of carbon monoxide and oxygen by the reaction.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Hooker, M. W.
(Clemson Univ. SC, United States)
Rast, H. E.
(Clemson Univ. SC, United States)
Rogers, D. K.
(Clemson Univ. SC, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1989
Publication Information
Publication: USRA, NASA(USRA University Advanced Design Program Fifth Annual Summer Conference
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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