Lightweight, Advanced Sorbent-Based Device to Collect and Pressurize CO2 from Martian Atmospheres

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

$125K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave. Array
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

Human exploration of Mars, as well as unmanned sample return missions can benefit greatly from use of propellants and life-support consumables produced from the resources available on Mars. The first major step of any in-situ propellant production system is the acquisition of carbon dioxide from the Mars atmosphere and its compression for further chemical processing.TDA Research Inc. proposes to develop a compact, lightweight, advanced sorbent-based compressor to recover high-pressure, high purity CO2 from the Martian atmosphere. The system eliminates the need for a mechanical pump, increasing the reliability with relatively low power consumption. TDA's system uses a proprietary sorbent that selectively adsorb CO2 at 0.1 psia and regenerates by temperature swing, producing a continuous, high purity CO2 flow at pressure (>15 psia).The objective of this Phase I research is to develop a high capacity, regenerable CO2 adsorbent that maintains its CO2 capacity and mechanical integrity over extended adsorption/desorption cycles. We will optimize the sorbent formulation and conduct a minimum of 100 complete adsorption/regeneration cycles for our best sorbent formulation. We will carry out a design of the adsorbent-based CO2 compressor and demonstrate the technical feasibility of the concept and quantify the logistics savings.