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Integrated Microchannel Reformer/Hydrogen Purifier for Fuel Cell Power Systems

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNJ05JB88C
Agency Tracking Number: 041442
Amount: $69,949.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: X1.03
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2004
Award Year: 2005
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2005-01-11
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2005-07-25
Small Business Information
1585 Marauder Street
Chico, CA 95973-9064
United States
DUNS: 933302655
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Darby Makel
 Principal Investigator
 (530) 895-2771
Business Contact
 Michael Antongiovanni
Title: Business Official
Phone: (530) 879-5957
Research Institution

Makel Engineering, Inc. (MEI) and Colorado School of Mines (CSM) propose to develop an integrated hydrogen generator and purifier system for conversion of in-situ produced hydrocarbons to fuel-cell-grade hydrogen. NASA is currently developing several In Situ Resources Utilization (ISRU) Systems. One technology commonly found in most ISRU scenarios is the use of the Sabatier reaction and water electrolysis to produce methane and oxygen. Due to the various penalties of storing gaseous hydrogen on-board the rover, it is advantageous to carry methane instead of hydrogen and to have an on-board reformer to produce hydrogen on-demand for the fuel cell. Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells hydrogen with very low carbon monoxide content (typically less than 10 ppm). The proposed system will combine microchannel microreformer technology for hydrogen production with palladium membranes technology for hydrogen purification and separation in an integrated hydrogen production system, resulting in optimized size and energy efficiency. This proposal will seek to establish the feasibility of using compact microchannel/membrane reactor systems to provide purified hydrogen for fuel cell power systems for applications such as robotic and crew transportation rovers.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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