Carbon Dioxide Collection and Pressurization Technology



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47th International Conference on Environmental Systems


The Martian atmosphere is composed of about 95% carbon dioxide which can be processed to produce useful consumables such as oxygen and methane. Leading technologies for processing CO2 are solid oxide electrolysis (SOE), reverse water gas shift (RWGS) and the Sabatier reaction. Typically, these processes require high purity, pressurized carbon dioxide to obtain a significant feed rate.

Reactive Innovations has developed an electrochemically-driven technology platform which can be customized to fulfill the many individual separation requirements of ISRU technology processing streams. In recent NASA-funded programs, our technology was shown to be highly adaptable in performing selective separation of species from gas and liquid streams. Recent work has utilized this general approach to not only separate but pressurize carbon dioxide. In addition we applied this reactive chemistry to our tubular reactor platform for further advantages in reducing weight and volume for space-based applications.

Our technology relies on a facilitated transport mechanism. The concept proceeds through the redox binding affinity of a carrier molecule. In the reduced state this molecule binds CO2. By changing the potential, the carrier is oxidized and CO2 is released. The redox carrier is carefully selected to maximize the “swing” in the redox potential to increase the effective binding and release of CO2. With this approach, no regeneration step is required for this membrane allowing a continuous process to occur to separate and pressurize CO2.

We previously reported results (ICES-2016-134) which demonstrated that selection of individual components, including redox carrier, ionic liquid, and membrane material play a significant role in advancing the mechanism of carbon dioxide separation and pressurization. This paper provides an update on our most recent work which has shown further improvements to the technology. These results are discussed with respect to ISRU applications and potential scale up of this technology to meet those goals.


Karen Jayne, Reactive Innovations, LLC, USA
Daniel Carr, Reactive Innovations, LLC, USA
Michael Kimble, Reactive Innovations, LLC, USA
ICES308: Advanced Technologies for In-Situ Resource Utilization
The 47th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in South Carolina, USA on 16 July 2017 through 20 July 2017


Carbon dioxide, separation, ionic liquid, redox carrier