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A Supported Liquid Membrane System for Steady State CO2 Control in a Spacecraft Cabin
Title: Principal Investigator
Phone: (720) 352-7161
Phone: (303) 881-7992
Type: Federally Funded R&D Center (FFRDC)
Reducing the allowable concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in spacecraft is a critical need for NASA. The system now used on the International Space Station (ISS) is the carbon dioxide removal assembly (CDRA). While it has performed well on the ISS, managers have concluded that using the device to reach the new ppCO2 limit of 2.0 mm Hg is not practical and a new method is needed.In this project, Reaction Systems, Inc. and the University of Colorado will develop a new, membrane-based system to maintain ppCO2 at no higher than 2.0 mm Hg. The system utilizes the recent advances made in supported liquid membranes (SLMs) to achieve the high CO2 permeance and selectivity needed to make this approach practical. Performance data obtained with a Reaction Systems’ SLM was used to produce a conceptual system design that indicates an SLM system can maintain CO2 at 2.0 mm Hg and still meet size and power limits. A membrane system operates under steady-state conditions, and therefore pumps and heaters can be sized to operate at peak efficiencies, which maximizes lifetimes and minimize power requirements. Although the conceptual design of the SLM-based system proposed here is very promising, some of the data used to generate the design were obtained under conditions somewhat different from those that would be encountered in an application. Thus, the objectives of this Phase I STTR project are to acquire performance data for these components under representative conditions and then perform a thorough system optimization study using state-of-the-art software to identify the most efficient operating conditions for all components. Reaction Systems has been developing SLMs for CO2 control for over seven years and our partner in this project, Professor James Nabity, in the Snead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department at the University of Colorado in Boulder, has nearly 15 years of experience developing ECLSS technologies for space habitats and spacesuits.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *