Demonstration of Paragon's Water Purification Assembly for Lunar Water Processing



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51st International Conference on Environmental Systems


Since the observation of direct evidence of water-ice in the permanently shadowed regions (PSR) on the lunar surface, in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) has been proposed for processing the regolith-bound water-ice to provide fresh water, breathable oxygen, and rocket propellant for lunar exploration missions. However, the water-ice is found concurrently with other typically volatile species that would contaminate and degrade downstream processing systems. Paragon Space Development Corporation® is developing the ISRU-derived water purification and Hydrogen Oxygen Production (IHOP) subsystem to collect, purify, and process water-ice from PSRs on the lunar surface. The primary water purification component of the IHOP subsystem concept is Paragon's Ionomer-membrane Water Processor (IWP) technology that can selectively transport water vapor through the membrane while rejecting contaminant components.

This paper presents results, analysis, and discussion of an experimental investigation to demonstrate the performance of the first iteration of Paragon's Water, ISRU-derived, Purification Equipment (WIPE) assembly, one of the major assemblies of the IHOP subsystem. The WIPE assembly was tested for a cumulative duration of 4-weeks with a supply of water vapor and a mixture of expected lunar volatile contaminant components (H2, CO, H2S, SO2, C2H4, CH4, CO2, and CH3OH). Liquid water samples were intermittently collected at the output of the WIPE assembly's process chain and analyzed for their constituents. Water utilization efficiency was also tracked over the course of the test. The controlled test operating conditions and rates matched the expected operating conditions in the lunar operation. The presented results inform next steps in incremental design advancements and demonstrate viability of a core assembly of the IHOP subsystem for lunar ISRU propellant production.


Jordan Holquist, Paragon Space Development Corporation, US
Sean Gellenbeck, Paragon Space Development Corporation, US
Connor Joyce, Paragon Space Development Corporation, US
Robert Rivera, Paragon Space Development Corporation, US
Chad Bower, Paragon Space Development Corporation, US
Philipp Tewes, Paragon Space Development Organization, US
ICES308: Advanced Technologies for In-Situ Resource Utilization
The 51st International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Saint Paul, Minnesota, US, on 10 July 2022 through 14 July 2022.


ISRU, Water Purification, Water Processing, Propellant Production