Lift Gas Cracker

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NAS5-03042
Agency Tracking Number: 024102
Amount: $69,995.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Pioneer Astronautics
11111 W. 8th Ave., Unit A, Lakewood, CO, 80215
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Zubrin
 Principal Investigator
 (303) 980-0890
 zubrin@aol.com
Business Contact
 Robert Zubrin
Title: Buisness Official
Phone: (303) 980-0890
Email: zubrin@aol.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The Lift Gas Cracker (LGC) is new method for producing lift gas for balloons for both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial applications, eliminating the need for heavy, bulky gas bottles. The LGC produces a lift gas from the cracking of methanol, an easily obtained, easily stored liquid, to make either the hydrogen/carbon monoxide cracking product or a hydrogen-enriched product by using membrane separation. Combustion of about 10% of the methanol provides sufficient energy to crack the remainder. The LGC product gas can be converted back into methanol, allowing a balloon to maintain altitude during the daytime without having to vent lift gas. The methanol can then be converted back into lift gas at night to maintain altitude without dropping ballast. Thus, long duration balloon flights could be extended a factor of 20 or more compared to conventional means.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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