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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

6 CFM Electrochemical Hydrogen Pump and Compressor

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

6 CFM Electrochemical Hydrogen Pump and Compressor Project Image

Hydrogen is an essential resource for space missions. NASA has a need for equipment to generate, handle and store hydrogen. In terms of handling hydrogen, conventional rotating mechanical pumps and compressors require extensive modification and have limited reliability. Electrochemical pumping and compression of hydrogen occurs without any moving parts and is highly reliable and efficient. Sustainable Innovations has demonstrated up to 6,000 psi of compression using electrochemical cell hardware. However, for high flow applications, such as a 6 CFM hydrogen pump for NASA, a departure from traditional electrochemical cell hardware designs is needed. Our work in Phase I demonstrated an Expandable Modular Architecture cell design, that allows a large footprint for the electrochemical stack. This is achieved using modular cell parts to create large active area cells. The modular parts are inexpensive to manufacture and can achieve the high tolerances need for large active area cells. The proposed Phase II activity will leverage the key developments in Phase I and demonstate the scalability of this device for critical NASA and commercial applications. This will include increasing the active area/capacity of the electrochemical cell stack by a factor of 5, and to increase pressure capability from 200 psi to 750 psi. The resultant unit will be utilized to actuate pneumatic tools that could be used in space.

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