AstrineTM-based Carbon-dioxide Adsorber for Life Support on the International Space Station
MetadataShow full item record
To meet the needs of future extended human spaceflight operations, Airbus DS has been developing and continuously improving the technology of regenerative CO2-Adsorbers based on the utilization of AstrineTM, an adsorbent resin which features excellent CO2 adsorption capabilities, provides good regeneration ability and features a long lifetime and stability. In addition to its CO2 adsorption capability, AstrineTM also removes water soluble Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) from the feed air, thus supporting the trace contaminant removal function. The current Carbon-dioxide Concentration Subsystem (CCA) of the Advanced Closed Loop System (ACLS) is designed to remove CO2 from the cabin air on the ISS and provide it to the Sabatier reactor of the ACLS for further processing. Previously bound CO2 in the AstrineTM is desorbed again by means of hot steam regeneration. By operating three CO2-Adsorbers in an overlapping manner and making use of a steam insertion profile, the CO2 delivery flow can be controlled accurately enough to match with the constant flow of hydrogen from the Oxygen Generation Subsystem (OGA). A downstream Water Recovery Unit (WRU) condenses water out of the humid product gas and provides it again for hot steam generation. The current design efforts concentrate on the key aspects of the desorption process by significantly reducing weight, energy consumption and water consumption, thereby improving its overall efficiency while at the same time increasing the lifetime of the used AstrineTM. This paper provides a design description of the CCA, with additional emphasis on the integrated design approach in view of closed-loop operation of the ACLS. It also provides information about the built status of the hardware as well as key performance results of the current engineering model of the CCA in stand-alone and closed-loop testing. An outlook to further development activities in the near future will be given as well.