NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 H3.03-9254
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Cabin Atmosphere Quality and Thermal Management
PROPOSAL TITLE: Oxygen Recovery From Carbon Dioxide Through Electrolysis

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Giner, Inc.
89 Rumford Avenue
Newton, MA 02466 - 1311
(781) 529-0500

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Badawi M. Dweik
89 Rumford Avenue
Newton, MA 02466 - 1311
(781) 529-0520

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Cortney K. Mittelsteadt
89 Rumford Avenue
Newton, MA 02466 - 1311
(781) 529-0529

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Spacecraft Cabin Atmosphere Quality and Thermal Management 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)
Giner, Inc. proposes to demonstrate the feasibility of developing an improved electrochemical process for the removal CO2 from cabin air, while also providing for recycling of water and provision of O2. This new process seeks to more efficiently combine the current functions of standard water electrolysis for breathing O2 production and the Sabatier process for removal of cabin CO2. It represents a major innovation and paradigm shift, rather than a minor enhancement of existing processes. The process will be accomplished using a novel electrochemical CO2 reduction electrocatalyst in conjunction with a proton-exchange membrane electrochemical cell. This technology is expected to have direct applications for Human Exploration and Development of Space missions as a means for the management and removal of excess respired carbon dioxide space cabins and enhanced closed-loop operations on long duration missions. The proposed process will enhance the closed-loop by recycling considerable amounts of water and will provide launch-mass saving. The proposed process not only will reduce CO2, but will also produce water and organic fuel; the water will be electrolyzed to O2 and the liquid fuel of will be captured and stored for use. The Phase I technical objectives are to demonstrate the effectiveness of a novel specialty cathode catalyst for carbon dioxide reduction that results in the production of water and methanol, develop an efficient cathode electrode structure, fabricate a complete electrochemical reactor, and to operate the reactor under a wide variety of conditions. The Phase I concludes with a design for a complete, integrated system for oxygen generation and carbon dioxide and water recycling.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The directly relevant NASA application includes a compact module, which can be integrated into the Orbiter's Environmental Control and Life Support System water reclamation systems to manage the respired carbon dioxide inside the spaceship and recycle water. Possible additional NASA applications include the production of fuels from indigenous materials (carbon dioxide) available on the surfaces of planets such as Mars. This will help, as future missions are required to utilize resources on Mars and will result in cost savings, as these materials will not have to be transported from earth.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Carbon dioxide is a product of combustion, and has been identified as one of the principal factors behind global warming. Removal of CO2 from stack emissions by means of adsorption processes, followed by conversion into a useful organic product such as methanol, would have a large economic potential. The specific commercial product to be developed under the proposed program would be an electrochemical reactor that produces methanol. The methanol could be used as an industrial chemical, as a fuel for automobiles, or as a fuel for fuel cells. A system similar to the NASA system could be beneficial in other closed environments, such as submarines.

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)
Processing Methods
Waste Storage/Treatment

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37