Ceramic Oxygen Generator for Carbon Dioxide Electrolysis Systems

Period of Performance: 01/01/2006 - 12/31/2006

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nextech Materials, Ltd.
404 Enterprise Drive Array
Lewis Center, OH 43035
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

In this SBIR Phase I proposal (Topic X9.01), NexTech Materials, Ltd. proposes to develop a high efficiency ceramic oxygen generation system which will separate O2 from the CO2-rich (95%) Martian atmosphere through a solid-oxide electrolysis process at 750-850?aC. The CO2 electrolysis process will produce O2 and CO. The O2 may be used for life support and as an oxidant (for a fuel cell power system), and CO may be collected and used directly as fuel (or converted to methane for use as a fuel). The electrolysis system is based on the Tubular Monolithic Ceramic Oxygen Generator (TM-COG) platform, whereby multiple oxygen separation cells are connected in series across both faces of a porous, flat-tube support. The design allows for simplified gas manifolding, sealing, and current collection and permits a high degree of cell stacking efficiency. In Phase I of the project, a prototype TM-COG module will be fabricated and the performance will be evaluated. The Phase I work will establish a foundation for work in Phase II, where a breadboard prototype TM-COG system will be produced and delivered to NASA that will be capable of producing 125 grams per hour of oxygen (or 1 kg per eight-hour day).