NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-2 H1.01-9614
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In-Situ Resource Utilization
PROPOSAL TITLE: Highly Efficient Solid Oxide Electrolyzer & Sabatier System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paragon Space Development Corporation
3481 East Michigan Street
Tucson, AZ 85714 - 2221
(520) 903-1000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Christine S Iacomini, Ph.D.
3481 East Michigan Street
Tucson, AZ 85714 - 2221
(520) 382-4824

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Brian N Harris
1322 Space Park Dr, Suite C150
Houston, TX 77058 - 2221
(520) 382-4887

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
In-Situ Resource Utilization is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Paragon Space Development Corporation (Paragon) and ENrG Incorporated (ENrG) are teaming to provide a highly efficient reactor for carbon monoxide/carbon dioxide (CO/CO2) conversion into methane (CH4). The system is a gravity-independent, compact, leak-tight, Solid Oxide Electrolyzer (SOE) system with embedded Sabatier reactors (ESR). Applying Corning Incorporated (Corning) Intellectual Property (IP), ENrG and Paragon can leverage an all-ceramic, efficient, and low mass solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) that remains leak-tight after hundreds of thermal cycles. Paragon proposes that incorporation of the all-ceramic technology into our SOE/ESR system will result in a design that will: 1) be thermally shock tolerant and capable of hundreds of on-off cycles at faster cycles than compared to the metal-to-ceramic SOE designs, 2) be lighter, smaller, and require less power than existing designs, 3) allow for high (>90%) single pass utilization of feedstock, and 4) achieve a thermodynamic efficiency of up to 80%. Our Phase II effort includes laboratory tests to optimize operation of an all-ceramic design for increased single pass utilization of the feed stock and mitigation of carbon deposition. Engineering analyses and component testing will be performed to inform the design of a stack. The stack will be built and tested to verify requirements. Results will be used to size a full system with recommendations for integration. An engineering development unit will be built and delivered to NASA. Integrating cells that operate as either an electrolyzer or a Sabatier reactor simplifies operations, lowers hardware complexity, and increases reliability. The proposed system can perform multiple functions without modifications, making it a readily deployable technology for various missions from ISRU on the Moon and Mars to regenerating 100% of a crew's oxygen in spacecraft or habitats.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
SOE/ESRs can be used to produce oxygen from in situ planetary resources and to regenerate 100% of the oxygen needs of a crew from crew-produced CO2 and H2O vapor. The SOE/ESR can be designed to satisfy various missions, regardless of destination or the technology chosen for using the extraterrestrial resources (e.g., hydrogen vs carbothermal lunar regolith reduction). SOE operated as a regenerative fuel can supply power, for example when solar power is unavailable.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
SOE/ESR development could allow less massive oxygen systems in commercial spacecraft vehicles currently under development. A point underscored by Paragon's existing relationships with industry. SOE/ESR oxygen regeneration systems can also be utilized in underwater research facilities, submarines, high altitude aircraft, or emergency bunkers. Hazardous material handlers, rescue personnel, or other professionals performing in extreme environments would benefit greatly from a self-contained oxygen supply system that requires no external supply of consumables. Also, SOE operated as a regenerative fuel can be used in back-up emergency power systems or as relief systems during high energy-use periods of the day.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Essential Life Resources (Oxygen, Water, Nutrients)
Simulation & Modeling

Form Generated on 03-04-14 13:38