High Efficiency Microchannel Sabatier Reactor System for In Situ Resource Utilization

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$125,000.00
Award Year:
2012
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX12CE82P
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
114937
Solicitation Year:
2011
Solicitation Topic Code:
X1.01
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
OR, Myrtle Creek, OR, 97457-0102
Hubzone Owned:
Y
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
068766781
Principal Investigator:
James Akse, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator
(541) 863-2653
akse@urcmail.net
Business Contact:
John Aker
Business Official
(541) 863-2655
aker@urcmail.net
Research Institute:
Stub




Abstract
An innovative Microchannel Sabatier Reactor System (MSRS) is proposed for 100% recovery of oxygen (as water) and methane from carbon dioxide (CO2), a valuable in situ resource available in the atmosphere or as frozen deposits on Mars and other Near Earth Objects (NEOs), using hydrogen. The Sabatier reaction will greatly benefit from inherently superior microreactor heat and mass transfer characteristics compared to conventional reactor designs. Significantly, multiple microreactors can readily be configured in series or parallel arrangements that improve reaction outcomes, and process scale up is easily achieved by numbering up mass produced microreactors. High conversion rates will require the deposition of highly active, supported catalyst layers onto microchannel walls that enhance surface area, adsorption characteristics, and catalyst effectiveness factor. Another research focus area will be a MSRS design that optimizes residence time, thermal recovery, and the achievement of equilibrium at low temperature. Successful completion of the Phase I project will provide microreactor performance data required to design and assemble a first generation MSRS. The Phase II research will result in the development of a prototype MSRS incorporating integrated sequential microreactors and heat exchange with the capability of processing 1 kg hr-1 of CO2. The prototype MSRS will clearly demonstrate the efficacy of this in situ resource utilization approach.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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