Browse Publications Technical Papers 1999-01-2112
1999-07-12

Demonstration of an Ultra-Short Channel Metal Monolith Catalytic Reactor for Trace Contaminant Control Applications 1999-01-2112

The International Space Station (ISS) Trace Contaminant Control Subassembly (TCCS) design is based upon proven, highly reliable technology. However, because its core unit operations rely upon expendable activated charcoal and an indirectly heated high temperature catalyst, annual logistics mass, crew time, and power consumption requirements are significant. To address this situation, a unique catalytic reactor design has been developed which is suitable for retrofit into the TCCS’s high temperature catalytic oxidizer (HTCO) assembly. The unique design, which employs a metallic, ultra-short channel length monolith (USCM) catalyst substrate, was tested in a flight-like TCCS HTCO assembly to investigate its performance characteristics. Test results indicate that retrofitting the TCCS with a USCM-based catalytic reactor is feasible and that it may provide significant reductions in logistics mass, crew time, and power consumption. Savings indicated by test results are up to 81% for annual logistics, 56% for crew time, and 77% for startup transient duration. In addition, its demonstrated ability to operate in a power saving mode provides up to a 43% savings in average power consumption. A summary of the USCM demonstration test objectives, approach, results, and specific benefits to the TCCS’s process economics are presented.

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