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Lightweight, Advanced Sorbent-Based Device to Collect and Pressurize CO2 from Martian Atmospheres, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Human exploration of Mars, as well as unmanned sample return missions can benefit greatly from use of propellants and life-support consumables produced from the resources available on Mars. The first major step of any in-situ propellant production system is the acquisition of carbon dioxide from the Mars atmosphere and its compression for further chemical processing. TDA Research Inc. proposes to develop a compact, lightweight, advanced sorbent-based compressor to recover high-pressure, high purity CO2 from the Martian atmosphere. The system eliminates the need for a mechanical pump, increasing the reliability with relatively low power consumption. TDA's system uses a proprietary sorbent that selectively adsorb CO2 at 0.1 psia and regenerates by temperature swing, producing a continuous, high purity CO2 flow at pressure (> 15 psia). The objective of this Phase I research is to develop a high capacity, regenerable CO2 adsorbent that maintains its CO2 capacity and mechanical integrity over extended adsorption/desorption cycles. We will optimize the sorbent formulation and conduct a minimum of 100 complete adsorption/regeneration cycles for our best sorbent formulation. We will carry out a design of the adsorbent-based CO2 compressor and demonstrate the technical feasibility of the concept and quantify the logistics savings. More »

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