Browse Publications Technical Papers 2005-01-2945

Water Electrolysis Cells Designed for Microgravity Conditions in order to Establish Air Revitalization System 2005-01-2945

A conceptual model of a life support system which circulates material using a physicochemical treatment has been designed. This self-contained partially circulated life support system, called SEPAL, comprises a water electrolysis system using a PEM (Polymer Electrolysis Membrane) and solar collector for a Sabatier reactor. The lack of buoyancy in microgravity causes liquid-gas separation and interferes with conventional water electrolysis. This problem can be solved by supplying water in the vapor phase through molecule size pores in the NAFION electrolysis membrane. This new system connects to a Sabatier reactor, which provides the water vapor for the electrolysis system. This paper describes test results of the main system elements and preliminary test results of the oxygen and hydrogen production system. With a small satellite making use of surplus lifting capacity, the experiment is proposed to demonstrate this circulated life support system.


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