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Spacecraft Cabin Air CO2 Recovery, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

An advanced Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) for long duration manned space missions ?such as planetary flight missions or planetary bases- requires an almost complete closure of all relevant material loops. Energy efficient carbon dioxide (CO2) removal and reduction systems are critical to reducing the power consumption of the spacecraft atmosphere revitalization systems. TDA proposes to develop a rapidly cycling vacuum-assisted thermal swing adsorption (VTSA) system to remove CO2 from cabin air and concentrate it for subsequent reduction and pressurization. Our unique sorbent exhibits one of the highest capacities reported for CO2 adsorption at very low CO2 partial pressures (1-3 torr CO2 partial pressure range). The low heat of adsorption of CO2 on the sorbent and the relatively low heat input needed to desorb the CO2 across a small temperature differential during regeneration will reduce the power requirement for the process. The new material is also highly tolerant to moisture. In Phase I, we will prepare the sorbent and demonstrate its ability in selectively removing CO2 from air under representative conditions. The technology readiness level (TRL) will be elevated to 3 at the end of Phase I. We will also complete the detailed design of the VTSA reactor. In Phase II, we will build a high fidelity prototype assembly and demonstrate the concept at full-scale, elevating the TRL to 5. More »

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Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

Technology Areas

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