Thermal/Mechanical Aqueous Chlorate Solution Oxygen Generator

Period of Performance: 12/22/2014 - 08/30/2016

$721K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

API Engineering LLC
1200 Diamond Circle
Lafayette, CO 80026
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This is a Subsequent Phase II Proposal, extension of Phase II contract N00014-11-C-0400. The proposed research deals with production of oxygen for use by air independent solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) in unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs). Oxygen is produced via thermal decomposition of an aqueous lithium chlorate solution using waste heat from the SOFC. Efforts include demonstration of oxygen production at a 2 kW scale, demonstration of oxygen production with decomposition heat delivered via a closed circulating cathode gas loop, and demonstration of the oxygen system integrated with a 2 kW scale SOFC where SOFC waste heat supports oxygen production for use by the SOFC. An analytical effort will evaluate use of non-cryogenic hydrogen generation technologies to fuel an SOFC integrated with the oxygen generator. The aqueous lithium chlorate solution is a non-combustible, non-volatile room temperature liquid with excellent oxygen storage metrics. These characteristics provide enhanced safety, ease of handling, and rapid refueling compared to cryogenic liquid oxygen for UUV applications. The oxygen source combined with efficient JP-10 fueled SOFC systems can increase energy density from the 150 W-hr/kg typical of rechargeable batteries to 300 to 500 W-hr/kg. Higher energy density improves UUV mission endurance, enhancing mission capability for both military and commercial applications.