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Compact and Lightweight Sabatier Reactor for Carbon Dioxide ReductionThe utilization of CO2 to produce life support consumables, such as O2 and H2O, via the Sabatier reaction is an important aspect of NASA s cabin Atmosphere Revitalization System and In-Situ Resource Utilization architectures for both low-earth orbit and long-term manned space missions. In the current International Space Station (ISS) and other low orbit missions, metabolically-generated CO2 is removed from the cabin air and vented into space, resulting in a net loss of O2. This requires a continuous resupply of O2 via water electrolysis, and thus highlights the need for large water storage capacity. For long-duration space missions, the amount of life support consumables is limited and resupply options are practically nonexistent, thus atmosphere resource management and recycle becomes crucial to significantly reduce necessary O2 and H2O storage. Additionally, the potential use of the Martian CO2-rich atmosphere and Lunar regolith to generate life support consumables and propellant fuels is of interest to NASA. Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) has developed a compact, lightweight Microlith(Registered TradeMark)-based Sabatier (CO2 methanation) reactor which demonstrates the capability of achieving high CO2 conversion and near 100% CH4 selectivity at space velocities of 30,000-60,000 hr-1. The combination of the Microlith(Registered TradeMark) substrates and durable, novel catalyst coating permitted efficient Sabatier reactor operation that favors high reactant conversion, high selectivity, and long-term durability. This paper presents the reactor development and performance results at various operating conditions. Additionally, results from 100-hr durability tests and mechanical vibration tests are discussed.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Marshall Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Junaedi, Christian
(Precision Combustion, Inc. North Haven, CT, United States)
Hawley, Kyle
(Precision Combustion, Inc. North Haven, CT, United States)
Walsh, Dennis
(Precision Combustion, Inc. North Haven, CT, United States)
Roychoudhury, Subir
(Precision Combustion, Inc. North Haven, CT, United States)
Abney, Morgan B.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Perry, Jay L.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 26, 2013
Publication Date
July 17, 2011
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: 41st International Conference on Envionmental Systems
Location: Portland, OR
Country: United States
Start Date: July 17, 2011
End Date: July 21, 2011
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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