Regenerable Trace-Contaminant Sorbent for the Primary Life Support System (PLSS)

Period of Performance: 01/01/2011 - 12/31/2011


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Advanced Fuel Research, Inc.
87 Church Street
East Hartford, CT 06108
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


The NASA objective of expanding the human experience into the far reaches of space requires the development of regenerable life support systems. This proposal addresses the development of a regenerable air-revitalization system for trace-contaminant (TC) removal for the space suit used in Extravehicular Activities (EVAs). The proposed innovations are: (1) a carbon monolith sorbent, in contrast to the currently used bed of granular charcoal; (2) carbon pore structure tailored for optimal vacuum/thermal regeneration; (3) resistive heating of the carbon monolith for rapid regeneration; (4) low pressure drop; and (5) good resistance to dusty environments. The overall objective is to develop a trace-contaminant control system that is regenerable and that possesses substantial weight, size, and power-requirement advantages with respect to the current state of the art. The Phase 1 objectives are: (1) to demonstrate the technical feasibility of using a novel monolithic carbon sorbent for trace-contaminant control; and (2) to demonstrate effective ammonia capture and sorbent regeneration. This will be accomplished in three tasks: (1) Preparation and Characterization of Carbon-Sorbent Monoliths; (2) Sorbent Testing; and (3) Product Assessment.