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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Non Thermal Plasma Assisted Catalytic Reactor for CO2 Methanation

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Non Thermal Plasma Assisted Catalytic Reactor for CO2 Methanation, Phase II
In situ production of methane as propellant by methanation of CO2, also called Sabatier reaction, is a key enabling technology required for sustainable and affordable human exploration of Mars. The Sabatier reaction is conventionally carried out in a fixed bed catalyst at high temperatures of 350-400 ?C. For the long duration future Mars missions (~ 18 months expected stay on Mars), the fixed bed Sabatier reactor design however is inadequate due to performance and catalyst durability issues. In addition thermal management within the reactor is a major issue due to exothermicity of the reaction. Lynntech has demonstrated the feasibility of a novel low power, low temperature plasma assisted catalysis process for addressing these limitations with the methanation of CO2 at a scale of 14 g/h methane production rate. In the Phase II project, Lynntech proposes to build and demonstrate a full scale (0.55 kg/h methane production rate) Sabatier reactor for NASA application. The anticipated Technology Readiness Level at the beginning and ending of Phase II will be 3 and 4, respectively. More »

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