July 07, 2015

3D Photocatalytic Air Processor for Dramatic Reduction of Life Support Mass and Complexity

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts has a phase 2 funding for 3D Photocatalytic Air Processor for Dramatic Reduction of Life Support Mass and Complexity

Bin Chen of the University of California will lead the study.

The abundant high-energy light in space (with wavelengths as low as 190 nm, compared to 300 nm on Earth) makes the TiO2 co-catalyst an ideal approach for sustainable air processing to generate O2, without consuming any thermal or electrical energy. The combination of novel photoelectrochemistry and 3-dimensional design allows tremendous mass savings, hardware complexity reduction, increases in deployment flexibility and removal efficiency. Operation at near ambient temperature and pressure is inherently safer for the crew. The potential exists for the high tortousity photoelectrocatalytic air processor design to achieve more than an order of magnitude in combined mass/volume/power/cooling resource savings.The proposed work will demonstrate these drastic reductions in comparison to current technology with delivery of high-tortuosity device components allowed by advanced manufacturing (potentially in space) at the end of the proposed work.






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