Advanced Nanostructured Catalysts For Efficient In-Cabin Air Purification



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49th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Air quality in sealed environments of extraterrestrial habitats and vehicles employed in space missions is critically important for the life support, cognitive function, and comfort of the crew. The main indoor and in-cabin air contaminants are volatile organic compounds (VOCs, e.g. alcohols, ketones, and aldehydes), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOxs), as well as particulate matter (PM). Common technologies for air purification are based on filtration, adsorption, ionization/attraction of particulates, or generation of highly reactive radicals capable of decomposition of various pollutants (using ozonizers and photocatalytic systems). Unfortunately, these technologies are often inefficient, require complicated maintenance practices (i.e. storage and replacement of filters and adsorbents), and result in emission of toxic secondary pollutants. The most efficient and reliable approach for VOC decomposition is based on thermal catalytic oxidation. A notable example of the use of such technology as a part of life support system is the trace contaminant control (TCC) equipment on the International Space Station (ISS). Widespread implementation of thermal catalysis in space, in particular for life support systems in extended space-flights and long-duration missions, requires significant reduction of operating temperatures (currently ~400°C), extension of the servisable lifetime, and reduction of the loadings of platinum group metal (PGM) nanoparticles (NPs). Herein, we present a novel platform technology for the design of catalysts with greatly reduced both light-off temperature and the PGM content, as well as enhanced stability for adoption in air purification/revitalization systems for sealed environments of space vehicles and beyond.


Tanya Shirman, Harvard University, USA
Elijah Shirman, Metalmark Innovations Inc., USA
Sissi Lu, Metalmark Innovations Inc., USA
Anna Shneidman, Harvard University, USA
Judith Lattimer, Harvard University, USA
Yamin Htet, Harvard University, USA
Keeve Gurkin, Harvard University, USA
Michael Aizenberg, Harvard University, USA
Joanna Aizenberg, Harvard University, USA
ICES504: Management of Air Quality in Sealed Environments
The 49th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA on 07 July 2019 through 11 July 2019.


catalysis, rational design, air purification, sealed environment