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

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNJ05JC06C
Agency Tracking Number: 042011
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: X6.05
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
2721-D Merrilee Drive, Fairfax, VA, 22031-3723
DUNS: 167433531
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 T Sudarshan
 Principal Investigator
 (703) 560-1371
Business Contact
 T Sudarshan
Title: Business Official
Phone: (703) 560-1371
Research Institution
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.

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

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