High Surface Area Iridium Anodes and Melt Containers for Molten Oxide Electrolysis

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX10CB20C
Agency Tracking Number: 084244
Amount: $600,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
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
DUNS: 799114574
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Angela Hattaway
 Principal Investigator
 (256) 256-7653
 ahattaway@plasmapros.com
Business Contact
 Timothy McKechnie
Title: President
Phone: (256) 851-7653
Email: timmck@plasmapros.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Direct electrochemical reduction of molten regolith is the most attractive method of oxygen production on the lunar surface, because no additional chemical reagents are needed. The process is proven on a laboratory scale, but the cathode-anode system and melt containers need to be improved for practical applications. The electrochemical processing of molten oxides requires high surface area inert anodes. Such electrodes need to be structurally robust at elevated temperatures (1400-1600oC), resistant to thermal shock, have good electrical conductivity, resistant to attack by molten oxide (silicate), electrochemically stable, and support high current density. Iridium is a proven material for this application. Innovative concepts for large scale, high surface area iridium anodes and long life, self-heating containers for the melts are proposed. The result of this program will be the development, manufacture, and test of high surface area iridium anodes and melt containers for molten oxide electrolysis to produce oxygen.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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