NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 X3.02-9756
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Oxygen Production from Lunar Regolith
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Surface Iridium Anodes for Molten Oxide Electrolysis

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 Moores Mill Road
Huntsville, AL 35811 - 1558
(256) 851-7653

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Anatoliy Shchetkovksiy
4914 Moores Mill Road
Huntsville, AL 35811 - 1558
(256) 851-7653

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Processing of lunar regolith into oxygen for habitat and propulsion is needed to support future space missions. Direct electrochemical reduction of molten regolith is most attractive method of processing because no additional chemical reagents are needed. The electrochemical processing of molten oxides requires high surface area inert anodes. Such electrodes need to be structurally robust at elevated temperatures (1400-1600oC), be resistant to thermal shock, have good electrical conductivity, be resistant to attack by molten oxide (silicate), be electrochemically stable and support high current density. Because of high melting point, good oxidation resistance, superior high temperature strength and ductility, iridium is the most promising candidate for anodes in high temperature electrochemical processes. Two innovative concepts for manufacturing such anodes by electrodeposition of iridium from molten salt electrolyte (EL-FormTM process) are proposed. This technique is characterized by its ability to produce dense, ductile, pore-free, 99.9% pure iridium in form of complex shape components and coatings.
The result of this program will be the development, manufacturing and testing of high surface iridium anodes for molten oxide electrolysis. The testing will be performed in cooperation with NASA and MIT.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
oxygen generators, metal refiners, and rocket nozzles.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
High surface iridium dimensionally stable anodes will be used in the chlorine production industry and extractive metallurgy. Non consumable iridium anodes will be used in copper foil electrochemical production. Another potential application for dimensionally stable iridium based composite anodes is electroplating industry. Other applications are petro-chemical industry, catalyst producers, crystal growth, spark plugs and rocket nozzles.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

In-situ Resource Utilization

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56