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Nanostructured Catalyst for In-Situ Production of Methanol for ISRU Applications

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2005 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Materials Modification Inc
2809-K Merrilee Drive Fairfax, VA 22031-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2005
Title: Nanostructured Catalyst for In-Situ Production of Methanol for ISRU Applications
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNJ05JC06C
Award Amount: $70,000.00


One of the most significant challenges in exploration of extraterrestrial planets such as Mars is the availability of efficient and reliable sources of fuel and energy that can be generated from resources available in situ. In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) of Martian materials to produce power can result in a reduction of mass requirements for exploration missions, a reduction in mission risk and cost, and expanded human presence in extraterrestrial planets. Methanol-based fuel cells are promising energy sources since methanol can be generated carbon dioxide that is found in Mars. Although there are already catalysts that can produce methanol from carbon dioxide, the efficiency of the synthesis has to be improved manifolds for the catalyst to be of use in Mars. There is therefore a need to improve existing catalysts. In this Phase I effort, Materials Modification Inc. proposes to utilize the principles of nanotechnology to prepare a novel nanoshell-type catalyst that is expected to exhibit higher efficiency of conversion compared to existing catalytic systems for the synthesis of methanol from carbon dioxide. Phase II will involve optimization of the nanoshell synthesis process, rigorous testing and commercializing the product/technology in collaboration with industrial partners and NASA for use in ISRU applications.

Principal Investigator:

T. Sudarshan
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

T. Sudarshan
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

Materials Modification, Inc.
2721-D Merrilee Drive Fairfax, VA 22031

EIN/Tax ID: 541368539
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No