Carbon Monoxide Metal Oxide Reduction System

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NAS10-01060
Agency Tracking Number: 012302
Amount: $69,960.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
11111 W. 8th Avenue, Unit A, Lakewood, CO, 80215
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Zubrin
 Principal Investigator
 (303) 980-0890
Business Contact
 Robert Zubrin
Title: President
Phone: (303) 980-0890
Research Institution
The Carbon Monoxide Metal Oxide Reduction System (COMORS) is a method of producing useful oxygen by reducing oxides found in Lunar and Martian surface material. The COMORS heats the oxides to temperatures where the oxygen atoms combine with carbon monoxide gas acting as a reducing agent, producing carbon dioxide. The CO2 is reduced with hydrogen in a reverse water gas shift (RWGS) reactor, and the CO is recycled to the metal oxide reactor. The water produced in the RWGS reaction is electrolyzed; the oxygen is stored and the hydrogen recycled to the RWGS reactor. The COMORS is similar to some hydrogen/ilmenite reduction methods proposed for Lunar missions. Unlike the hydrogen based methods, however, the carbon monoxide/RWGS cycle can operate with higher energy efficiencies, lower losses, and lower temperatures. The concept is very applicable to reduction of Mars metal oxides since the greater content of iron oxides in Mars minerals will result in greater oxygen production for a given unit of oxide feed. This proposal demonstrates CO reduction methods for reducing metallic minerals on the Moon and Mars for oxygen production for human exploration.

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

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