The objective of this proposal is to adapt the CO2 electrolyzers currently being developed under ARPA-E support to NASA missions. The devices are similar to a solid oxide electrolyzer, in that they can operate on dry CO2, but the devices use a proprietary polymer rather than a solid oxide to allow them to operate at room temperature (~25 ºC). In ARPA-E supported work, we have already demonstrated CO2 electrolysis for 3000 hours and 95% selectivity under wet conditions and 100 hours with a dry cathode. 5000 hour tests are scheduled shortly. In the proposed work, we will adapt the devices to NASA missions. In particular, we will modify our membranes so they can be run with minimal water, improve strength to allow higher differential pressure operation, and complete the various tests requested in the BAA.
We think these devices will have three potential NASA applications:
Dioxide Materials and our partners at 3M are interested in pursuing two different opportunities: small electrolyzers as CO2 sensors in HVAC systems and fire detection modules, and large electrolyzers as a way of recycling CO2 back to fuels and chemicals, as a way of lowering chemicals cost and as a way of reducing global warming.