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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Contaminant Robust System for Oxygen Production from Lunar Regolith

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Contaminant Robust System for Oxygen Production from Lunar Regolith
The necessity of oxygen for consumption by human inhabitants on the lunar surface is readily apparent. NASA is pursuing several ways to generate oxygen from lunar regolith and reduce reliance on Earth for consumable re-supply. The most mature method is via hydrogen reduction. Paragon SDC proposes an innovative method for removing the problematic acidic contaminates from the water vapor compound released during the first stage of the hydrogen reduction process. This innovation also includes a subsequent high temperature water electrolysis technology that is insensitive to dissolved ions, should they persist beyond the acid scrubber. The final product of this system could essentially produce a source of oxygen using almost only in situ resources including lunar regolith (assumed to contain trace amounts of hydrogen) and sunlight. The process could be built to require very little crew interaction and is planned to be highly resistive to harsh chemical interactions. Further, the high temperature electrolysis proposed produces pure, dry oxygen making it a very appealing solution to the challenges facing ISRU programs in generating oxygen from lunar regolith. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

Technology Transitions

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.