Carbon Monoxide Silicate Reduction System

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNJ05JB90C
Agency Tracking Number: 040453
Amount: $69,942.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solitcitation Year: 2004
Solitcitation Topic Code: X1.03
Solitcitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Pioneer Astronautics
11111 W. 8th Ave., Unit A, Lakewood, CO, 80215-5516
Duns: 120561456
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mark Berggren
 Principal Investigator
 (303) 980-0231
Business Contact
 Robert Zubrin
Title: Business Official
Phone: (303) 980-0890
Research Institution
The Carbon Monoxide Silicate Reduction System (COSRS) is an innovative method that for the first time uses the strong reductant carbon monoxide to both reduce iron and to evenly deposit carbon. This enables high temperature carbothermal reduction of silicon oxide yielding five times as much oxygen recovery from planetary regolith compared to hydrogen-based reduction systems. COSRS is an in situ planetary resource utilization process that yields useful oxygen and metals by reducing the majority of metal oxides in undifferentiated lunar, asteroidal, and Martian surface materials. The COSRS initially heats the materials to temperatures where the iron-bound oxygen combines with carbon monoxide, a strong reducing agent (reductant). Simultaneously, the produced iron metal catalyzes the disproportionation of carbon monoxide to carbon and carbon dioxide. The temperature is then raised for carbothermal reduction of the silicates, producing carbon monoxide, which is recycled back to the first stage process, and silicon metal. The carbon dioxide created in the iron reduction/disproportionation step is processed with hydrogen in a Reverse Water Gas Shift (RWGS) unit to make carbon monoxide and water. After electrolysis, the oxygen is stored while the CO is recycled to the reactor.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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