Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) proposes a compact, vacuum-regenerable sorbent bed for effectively removing a broad range of trace contaminants, meeting all topic performance requirements, which can be integrated with the Exploration Portable Life Support System (xPLSS) CO2/H2O removal system. Both the primary trace contaminants (ammonia, CO, formaldehyde, and methyl mercaptan) as well as other species that threaten to exceed the 7-day Spacecraft Maxmimum Allowable Concentration (SMAC) levels will be addressed. Additionally, other trace chemicals described in the topic requirements document, will be removed using our proposed sorbent nanomaterials. These sorbents with different properties will be combined in the modular Trace Contaminant Control (TCC) bed, tailored to the requirements and in suitable proportion. Our approach is based on PCI’s proven sorbent nanomaterials that have high surface area on a structured support, enabling a compact, low pressure drop, and vacuum-regenerable TCC device. In Phase II, we will build on Phase I success to develop, fabricate, and demonstrate a compact, low pressure drop, vacuum-regenerable TCC hardware prototypes for efficient removal of targeted trace contaminants to meet NASA requirements. A prototype ready for system-level testing in the xPLSS will be provided to NASA. This effort would be valuable to NASA as it would address the current xPLSS technology gap and increase mission capability/durability/extensibility while at the same time increasing the TRL of the novel vacuum regenerable TCC sorbents.
Targeted NASA applications will be in advanced spacesuit and exploration PLSS with key potential customers including Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, and private sector customers. Additional NASA application includes future ISRU concepts for Lunar or Martian bases, spacecraft, and for the International Space Station.
Targeted non-NASA applications include commercial aircraft air purification systems and for military vehicle cabins such as in aircraft, ships and submarines. One of the biggest markets for this technology would be commercial buildings where it can have significant impact on the demand control ventilation and indoor air quality, resulting in significant decrease in associated energy cost.