Browse Publications Technical Papers 2003-01-2367
2003-07-07

Development of Next-Generation Membrane-Integrated Adsorption Processor for CO 2 Removal and Compression for Closed-Loop Air Revitalization and Analysis of Desiccating Membrane 2003-01-2367

The current CO2 removal technology of NASA is very energy intensive and contains many non-optimized subsystems. This paper discusses the concept of a next-generation, membrane-integrated, adsorption processor for CO2 removal and compression in closed-loop air revitalization systems. The membrane module removes water from the feed, passing it directly into the processor's exhaust stream; it replaces the desiccant beds in the current four-bed molecular sieve system, which must be thermally regenerated. Moreover, in the new processor, CO2 is removed and compressed in a single two-stage unit. This processor will use much less power than NASA's current CO2 removal technology and will be capable of maintaining a lower CO2 concentration in the cabin than that can be achieved by the existing CO2 removal systems. The compact, consolidated, configuration of membrane gas dryer and CO2 separator and compressor will allow continuous recycling of humid air in the cabin and supply of compressed CO2 to the reduction unit for oxygen recovery. The device has potential application to the International Space Station and future, long duration, transit, and planetary missions.

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