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SBIR/STTR

Highly Efficient Solid Oxide Electrolyzer & Sabatier System, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Paragon Space Development Corporation (Paragon) and ENrG Incorporated (ENrG) are teaming to provide a highly efficient reactor for carbon monoxide/carbon dioxide (CO/CO2) conversion into methane (CH4). The system is a gravity-independent, compact, leak-tight, Solid Oxide Electrolyzer (SOE) system with embedded Sabatier reactors (ESR). Applying Corning Incorporated (Corning) Intellectual Property (IP), ENrG and Paragon can leverage an all-ceramic, efficient, and low mass solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) that remains leak-tight after hundreds of thermal cycles. Paragon proposes that incorporation of the all-ceramic technology into our SOE/ESR system will result in a design that will: 1) be thermally shock tolerant and capable of hundreds of on-off cycles at faster cycles than compared to the metal-to-ceramic SOE designs, 2) be lighter, smaller, and require less power than existing designs, 3) allow for high (>90%) single pass utilization of feedstock, and 4) achieve a thermodynamic efficiency of up to 80%. Our Phase II effort includes laboratory tests to optimize operation of an all-ceramic design for increased single pass utilization of the feed stock and mitigation of carbon deposition. Engineering analyses and component testing will be performed to inform the design of a stack. The stack will be built and tested to verify requirements. Results will be used to size a full system with recommendations for integration. An engineering development unit will be built and delivered to NASA. Integrating cells that operate as either an electrolyzer or a Sabatier reactor simplifies operations, lowers hardware complexity, and increases reliability. The proposed system can perform multiple functions without modifications, making it a readily deployable technology for various missions from ISRU on the Moon and Mars to regenerating 100% of a crew's oxygen in spacecraft or habitats. More »

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