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A Supported Liquid Membrane System for Steady State CO2 Control in a Spacecraft Cabin

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC18P2139
Agency Tracking Number: 181259
Amount: $124,985.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T6
Solicitation Number: STTR_18_P1
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-07-27
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-08-26
Small Business Information
17301 West Colfax Avenue, #160
Golden, CO 80401-4892
United States
DUNS: 196231166
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 David Wickham
 Principal Investigator
 (720) 352-7161
Business Contact
 Todd Leeson
Phone: (303) 881-7992
Research Institution
 Regents of the University of Colorado
3100 Marine Street
Boulder, CO 80303-1058
United States

 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. *

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