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PHILM (Plant Habitat Ionic Liquid Membrane) for CO2 Control

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC22PB190
Agency Tracking Number: 222544
Amount: $156,479.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S15
Solicitation Number: SBIR_22_P1
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-07-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-01-25
Small Business Information
5455 Spine Road, Suite ME
Boulder, CO 80301-3312
United States
DUNS: 080138735
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Christine Escobar
 (720) 309-8475
Business Contact
 Christine Escobar
Phone: (720) 309-8475
Research Institution

Accurate control of the plant environment in space growth chambers is pivotal for space plant biology research. The PHILM (Plant Habitat Ionic Liquid Membrane) for CO2 control uses a supported ionic liquid membrane (SILM) to selectively separate COshy;2 from cabin air and then dose the gas into closed plant chambers to maintain constant CO2 concentrations. Utilizing respired cabin CO2 for plant growth has the advantages of 1) eliminating the continuous resupply mass for compressed cylinders and scrubbing cartridges and 2) reducing the load on the cabin CO2 removal system when larger scale crop production systems are integrated into the spacecraft. Membranes are attractive for spacecraft use because they require less power, fewer components, and less infrastructure volume than alternative methods, with no consumable mass, noise, or safety hazards. In support of NASArsquo;s priorities for space plant biology and space habitation system development, PHILMtrade; provides precise and timely CO2 control for plant growth chambers that is reliable, safe, compact, and energy efficient. PHILMtrade; can operate in microgravity and reduced gravity, advancing space plant biology research and space agriculture capabilities in space stations, transit vehicles, and surface habitats. PHILMtrade; is also readily transferrable to terrestrial botanical research and agriculture (plant growth chambers, greenhouses, and indoor farms). With PHILMtrade;, indoor farmers can enrich greenhouse CO2 for increased crop yield, by sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, a safer and more sustainable alternative. This Phase I project will establish feasibility and demonstrate proof of concept for supported ionic liquid membranes to maintain target CO2 concentrations in spacecraft plant growth chambers utilizing cabin air. The team will analyze a baseline system architecture, develop a breadboard prototype, and conduct experiments to validate performance predictions over expected operating conditions.

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

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