Novel Catalytic Reactor for CO2 Reduction via Sabatier Process

Period of Performance: 01/01/2010 - 12/31/2010

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Precision Combustion, Inc.
410 Sackett Point Road Array
North Haven, CT 06473
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) proposes to develop a novel, efficient, and lightweight catalytic Sabatier CO2 methanation unit, capable of converting a mixture of CO2 and H2 to methane and water with targeted CO2 conversions of ≥90% at high throughputs and at low operating temperatures (≤350oC). In the spacecraft cabin air revitalization system (ARS), the utilization of CO2 to produce life support consumables, such as O2 and H2O, via Sabatier process as part of the CO2 Reduction Assembly (CRA) is an important aspect for long-term manned space explorations. The maturation of this technology will significantly reduce the need of re-supply from Earth. Sabatier reaction is highly exothermic and is limited by the thermodynamic equilibrium; therefore, the ability to control and maintain axial reactor temperature and catalyst surface temperature is crucial for obtaining good reactor performance and preventing catalyst deactivation. The proposed program will build on the short contact time kinetic benefits of MicrolithREG technology (patented and trademarked by PCI) and PCI's proven catalyst coating development process from prior NASA programs, to demonstrate a proof-of-concept toward delivering a modular, compact, and durable Sabatier CO2 reduction prototype to NASA.