OxEon Energy Demonstration of Manned-Mission Scale ISRU Process Systems



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49th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Since delivering the Solid OXide Electrolysis (SOXE) stacks for the Mars 2020 MOXIE project in 2017, the OxEon team has designed and begun fabricating SOXE stacks of the cell area required for a manned Mars mission. The full area SOXE design produced and tested in 2018 is a variant intended for commercial terrestrial energy storage applications, rather than Mars ISRU oxygen production. Beginning in 2019, under the NASA NextSTEP-2 ISRU activity, this platform will be tested with conditions targeting the ISRU application. Design modifications necessary for oxygen collection will be finalized and long-lead time tooling production will be initiated.

MOXIE testing was focused on the case of atmospheric ISRU for oxygen evolution at the anode. Cathode byproduct CO was not used. In 2019, OxEon will demonstrate using a SOXE stack for CO2-steam co-electrolysis to produce carbon monoxide and hydrogen or synthesis gas. The synthesis gas will be converted to methane in an OxEon developed methanation reactor as an alternative to a water electrolysis coupled Sabatier system.

The objectives and technical motivation for the new approach will be discussed, along with initial results from full-scale area short stacks operating in co-electrolysis mode coupled to a methanation reactor. Related applications of life support atmosphere revitalization will also be discussed.


Joseph Hartvigsen, OxEon Energy, LLC, USA
S. Elangovan, OxEon Energy, LLC, USA
Lyman Frost, OxEon Energy, LLC, USA
ICES308: Advanced Technologies for In-Situ Resource Utilization
The 49th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA on 07 July 2019 through 11 July 2019.


Solid Oxide Electrolysis, SOXE, MOXIE, Mars 2020, ISRU, Sabatier, Methanation, Co-electrolysis, Life support, Atmosphere revitalization