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An Evaluation of the Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal Process for Use in a Mars Transit VehicleAn experimental program has been developed to evaluate the potential of the Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Reduction (VPCAR) technology for use as a Mars Transit Vehicle water purification system. Design modifications which will be required to ensure proper operation of the VPCAR system in reduced gravity are also evaluated. The VPCAR system is an integrated wastewater treatment technology that combines a distillation process with high temperature catalytic oxidation. The distillation portion of the system utilizes a vapor compression distillation process to provide an energy efficient phase change separation. This portion of the system removes any inorganic salts and large molecular weight, organic contaminates, i.e., non-volatile, from the product water stream and concentrates these contaminates into a byproduct stream. To oxidize the volatile organic compounds and ammonia, a vapor phase, high temperature catalytic oxidizer is used. This catalytic system converts these compounds along with the aqueous product into CO2, H2O, and N2O. A secondary catalytic bed can then be used to reduce the N2O to nitrogen and oxygen (although not evaluated in this study). This paper describes the design specification of the VPCAR process, the relative benefits of its utilization in a Mars Transit Vehicle, and the design modification which will be required to ensure its proper operation in reduced gravity. In addition, the results of an experimental evaluation of the processors is presented. This evaluation presents the processors performance based upon product water purity, water recovery rates, and power.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Flynn, Michael (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Borchers, Bruce (Lockheed Martin Engineering and Science Services Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1998
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Meeting Information
Third International Conference Life Support and Biosphere Science(Lake Buenas Vista, FL)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.