High Surface Iridium Anodes for Molten Oxide Electrolysis

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$100,000.00
Award Year:
2009
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX09CE76P
Agency Tracking Number:
084244
Solicitation Year:
2008
Solicitation Topic Code:
X3.02
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 Moores Mill Road, Huntsville, AL, 35811-1558
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
799114574
Principal Investigator:
Anatoliy Shchetkovksiy
Principal Investigator
(256) 851-7653
ashchetkovksiy@plasmapros.com
Business Contact:
Timothy McKechnie
President
(256) 851-7653
timmck@plasmapros.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
Processing of lunar regolith into oxygen for habitat and propulsion is needed to support future space missions. Direct electrochemical reduction of molten regolith is most attractive method of processing because no additional chemical reagents are needed. The electrochemical processing of molten oxides requires high surface area inert anodes. Such electrodes need to be structurally robust at elevated temperatures (1400-1600oC), be resistant to thermal shock, have good electrical conductivity, be resistant to attack by molten oxide (silicate), be electrochemically stable and support high current density. Because of high melting point, good oxidation resistance, superior high temperature strength and ductility, iridium is the most promising candidate for anodes in high temperature electrochemical processes. Two innovative concepts for manufacturing such anodes by electrodeposition of iridium from molten salt electrolyte (EL-FormTM process) are proposed. This technique is characterized by its ability to produce dense, ductile, pore-free, 99.9% pure iridium in form of complex shape components and coatings. The result of this program will be the development, manufacturing and testing of high surface iridium anodes for molten oxide electrolysis. The testing will be performed in cooperation with NASA and MIT.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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