Methane Pyrolysis Enables Closed-loop Oxygen Recovery - Brassboard Evaluation



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2023 International Conference on Environmental Systems


Methane pyrolysis is an essential element for a closed-loop ECLS system that incorporates a Sabatier system, since this system converts carbon dioxide and hydrogen to methane and water, and the hydrogen value of the methane must be recovered to complete closure. Methane pyrolysis converts methane, at high temperature, to carbon and hydrogen. The hydrogen is required by the Sabatier reactor to completely convert the available carbon dioxide, and there are a number of re-use opportunities for the carbon. In this paper, we describe the construction and operation of a full scale brassboard methane pyrolysis reactor before it was provided to Marshall Spaceflight Center for further evaluation. The system converted methane at a 1.45 SLPM scale to carbon and hydrogen with 50-80% conversion and >95% selectivity. The effects of temperature, and substrate design were important to obtaining reliable conversion. In addition, experiments in which a feed simulating the output from a Sabatier reactor were also completed. A second generation Flight Like Advanced Materials Reactor, with similar scale but using light weight and more durable materials will also be described.


Amanda Childers, Honeywell Aerospace, USA
Stephen Yates, Honeywell Aerospace, USA
Mark Triezenberg, Honeywell Aerospace, USA


hydrogen recovery, oxygen recovery, methane pyrolysis, closed-loop, carbon