Synergistic and Smart Micro-Controls for Enhanced SCBA Equipment

Period of Performance: 09/29/2015 - 01/01/1970


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Mainstream Engineering Corporation
200 Yellow Place Array
Rockledge, FL 32955
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


This proposal outlines the successful demonstration of electrochemical CO2 removal that generates virtually no heat, from a humid breathing gas mixture. Mainstream evaluated micro-sensors for monitoring temperature, humidity, CO2, and O2 for breath monitoring for the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). Advanced CO2 separating technology combined with micro-sensors and controls allows for optimal control over system components, eliminates heat-generating CO2 scrubbers, and regulates humidity and air quality. We fabricated, characterized, and demonstrated several devices and measured the rate of CO2 removal from exhaled breath mixtures over a range of temperatures. Based on the device performance, the rate of CO2 removal was 1.10 L/m2?min, which would require a 7.1" x 9.1" x 6.5" cell to remove 2 L/min CO2. The CO2 removal system will weigh 5.7 lb. An inline micro-sensor array with microcontroller was designed as a modular, drop-in attachment for existing systems. The pack-mounted microcontroller would be 133 cm3, weigh 1.5 lb, and consume 50 mW. Further development of the enhanced SCBA system in the Phase II will optimize the performance of the CO2 removal system and transition the technology into a functional prototype, which will be evaluated for product development.