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Regenerative Bosch Reactor

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
UMPQUA Research Company
P.O. Box 609 Myrtle Creek, OR 97457-0102
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: Yes
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Regenerative Bosch Reactor
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX11CH43P
Award Amount: $100,000.00


Oxygen (O2) contained within waste carbon dioxide (CO2) is a vital resource during long-duration, manned missions that must be reclaimed by Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) hardware. Current CO2 reduction technology to recapture oxygen as water utilizes the Sabatier reaction, in which, two moles of water and one mole of methane are produced for each mole of CO2 reduced. Unfortunately, only half of the hydrogen consumed in the reaction can be recovered by water electrolysis. In contrast, the Bosch reaction produces water and elemental carbon, recovering all hydrogen consumed and closing the O2 - CO2 reduction loop. Previous experience has shown the primary problem with the Bosch reaction is carbon production, which deactivates the catalyst and eventually plugs the reactor. An innovative Regenerative Bosch Reactor (RBR) is proposed to overcome this problem, in which, a bed of small spherical ferromagnetic catalyst beads is periodically agitated using mechanical or magnetic forces to abrade carbon from the catalyst surface. Carbon is expelled from the RBR by the gas stream and collected downstream. The Phase I project will demonstrate catalyst regeneration. A prototype RBR will be designed, assembled, and thoroughly tested during the Phase II program providing NASA with a test bed for independent evaluation. The RBR will improve atmosphere loop closure and lower the ESM for CO2 reduction by recovering all of the hydrogen reductant.

Principal Investigator:

James R. Akse, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

John S. Aker
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

UMPQUA Research Company
P.O. Box 609 Myrtle Creek, OR 97457-0102

EIN/Tax ID: 930789314
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: Yes