Novel, Vacuum-Regenerable Trace Contaminant Control System for Advanced Spacesuit Applications

Period of Performance: 06/10/2016 - 12/09/2016

$125K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Precision Combustion, Inc.
410 Sackett Point Road Array
North Haven, CT 06473
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Trace contaminants that are introduced into the ventilation loop of a spacesuit (primarily ammonia and formaldehyde) via metabolic processes, off-gassing of spacesuit materials, and by-products of the amine used in the rapid cycle amine (RCA) system are typically removed using activated charcoal. Although effective, the downside of using these materials is a bulky system with low regeneration capability, a reliance on consumables, significant power consumption, and consequently high associated life cycle operating cost. Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) proposes a new material paradigm for the Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) based upon its novel adsorbent nanomaterials that have high surface area and can be designed to achieve uniquely-targeted sorbent properties including minimizing competitive sorption with water and CO2 and vacuum regeneration without heating. PCI will apply the developed nanomaterials on ultra-short channel length, lightweight Microlith? support substrates to permit practical implementation of the sorbent for a real-time vacuum swing regenerable TCCS. Successful implementation of PCI?s modular strategy will increase flexibility of equipment while reducing total volume and material inventory required for TCCS and atmosphere revitalization applications. Additional benefits include humidity tolerance, as well as reduced volume, weight, pressure drop, energy consumption, and reliance on consumables.