NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-1 H1.01-8380
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In situ Resource Utilization - Production of Feedstock for Manufacturing and Construction
PROPOSAL TITLE: Micro-Channel Reactor for Processing Carbon Dioxide to Ethylene

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Reactive Innovations, LLC
2 Park Drive, Unit 4
Westford, MA 01886 - 3525
(978) 692-4664

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Daniel Carr
2 Park Drive, Unit 4
Westford, MA 01886 - 3525
(978) 692-4664

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Michael C. Kimble
2 Park Drive, Unit 4
Westford, MA 01886 - 3525
(978) 692-4664

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
In situ Resource Utilization - Production of Feedstock for Manufacturing and Construction 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)
The processing of carbon dioxide is a continuing NASA need, ranging from separation processes to remove it from cabin air, to reaction processes that convert the Martian atmosphere to fuels. In support of future habitation activities on Mars, it is desired to process this high Martian concentration of carbon dioxide to ethylene, a chemical precursor that can be used to subsequently produce plastics including polyethylene, propylene, and polypropylene for building structures. Additionally, ethylene can be readily converted to ethanol and subsequently to sugar, nutrients that support biohabitation. Toward this goal, Reactive Innovations, LLC proposes to develop an electrochemical micro-channel reactor that can convert carbon dioxide to ethylene. The modular architecture of the micro-channel reactor enables the system to be scaled to increase throughput while the small feature sizes of the reactor enhance thermal and mass transfer processes increasing the ethylene yield.

During this Phase I program, the electrochemical reactions will be optimized to convert CO2 to ethylene maximizing the yield and rate. Single channel and multiple micro-channels will be produced using a new fabrication process that produces channels on the order of 100 microns wide. Characterization of the micro-channel reactor operating conditions will be conducted while producing ethylene to aid in scaling the process to larger production rates. Conversion of ethylene to polyethylene plastic will subsequently be demonstrated.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Mars is the ultimate destination of NASA's human exploration program where the goal of using resources at the site of exploration will reduce launch mass and cost, and enable new missions not possible otherwise. Processing the carbon dioxide to ethylene in a compact modular micro-channel reactor will provide a valuable chemical that can further be used to produce habitat structures and equipment as well as ethanol and sugar nutrients for life support.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The conversion of carbon dioxide to ethylene can help reduce the concentration of this green house gas on earth while providing a valuable chemical feedstock. Over 109 million tonnes of ethylene is produced around the world, more than any other organic compound, where it is converted to a number of products. Newer production pathways to create this compound using micro-channel chemical reactors can help lower the capital and operating costs.

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.)
In Situ Manufacturing
Processing Methods

Form Generated on 04-26-16 15:14