Integrated Electrolysis&Sabatier System for Internal Reforming Regenerative Fuel Cells

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Paragon Space Development Corporation
3481 East Michigan Street
Tucson, AZ 85714
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Paragon Space Development Corporation® (Paragon) will advance our Solid Oxide Electrolysis / embedded Sabatier reactors (SOE/ESR) system to generate power from its oxygen (O2) and methane (CH4) products. Leveraging our SOE/ESR technology, Paragon can offer a carbon deposition resistant system capable of internally steam reforming CH4and generating power in fuel cell mode. Minimal water is required at start up; operations are sustained by recycling water from the affluent using Paragon's spaceflight-qualified humidity control membrane technology. The system is gravity-independent and compact with no moving parts and a high single-pass utilization of feedstock. Leak-tight operations are improved by employing a new 3D glass seal approach. The system will tolerate 100s of thermal cycles in high differential pressure environments.Our Phase I effort includes laboratory tests to determine the feasibility of employing new sealing features at high differential pressure and multiple thermal cycles. Tests will also confirm simultaneous internal CH4 reforming and fuel cell operation without carbon deposition.The SOE/ESR Internally Reforming SOFC integrates cells that operate as either an electrolyzer / Sabatier reactor or a fuel cell. This simplifies operations, lowers hardware complexity, and increases reliability. The proposed system can perform multiple functions without modifications, making it a readily deployable technology for various missions from ISRU on the Moon and Mars to regenerating 100% of a crew's oxygen in habitats and space crafts.