Browse Publications Technical Papers 2009-01-2433
2009-07-12

Root Cause Assessment of Pressure Drop Rise of a Packed Bed of Lithium Hydroxide in the International Space Station Trace Contaminant Control System 2009-01-2433

The trace contaminant control system (TCCS) located in the International Space Station's (ISS) U.S. laboratory module employs physical adsorption, thermal catalytic oxidation, and chemical adsorption to remove trace chemical contamination produced by equipment offgassing and anthropogenic sources from the cabin atmosphere. The chemical adsorption stage, consisting of a packed bed of granular lithium hydroxide (LiOH), is located after the thermal catalytic oxidation stage and is designed to remove acid gas byproducts that may be formed in the upstream oxidation stage. While in service on board the ISS, the LiOH bed exhibited a change in flow resistance that leading to flow control difficulties in the TCCS. Post flight evaluation revealed LiOH granule size attrition among other changes. An experimental program was employed to investigate mechanisms hypothesized to contribute to the change in the packed bed's flow resistance. Background on the problem is summarized, including a discussion of likely mechanisms. The experimental program is described, results are presented, and implications for the future are discussed.

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