Enzyme Based Membrane Reactor for CO
Control of carbon dioxide (CO2) is crucial for all crew inhabited space-flight missions. Air revitalization requires safe and reliable CO2 extraction systems characterized by small volume, low mass, low rate of energy use, minimal use of consumables, and little or no crew time for operation and maintenance. Current designs are relatively costly to operate due to consumable usage rates (e.g., LiOH), high mass and/or volume (solid amines), and/or high energy costs associated with regeneration of CO2 adsorption capacity (e.g., metal oxide).
Our work focuses on the development of a highly efficient enzyme catalyzed, Carbonic Anhydrase based liquid membrane biomimetic reactor. We report here on the use of aqueous chemistry modeling to guide the design of new liquid membrane compositions. We examine the effects of these new solutions on enzyme activity and on the solubility of other gases in the mix. We also discuss our initial efforts to enhance reactor performance through localized pH control.