Chemical Vapor Deposition Methane Pyrolysis Enables Closed-loop Oxygen Recovery: Path to Flight



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51st International Conference on Environmental Systems


Deep-space long-duration human exploration missions to Mars will require advanced oxygen recovery technologies. Honeywell Aerospace is developing a methane pyrolysis technology in partnership with NASA that would recover hydrogen from the methane generated by the existing Sabatier unit during recovered carbon dioxide reduction. Complete pyrolysis of this methane to carbon increases the overall system oxygen recovery to almost 100%, while leveraging proven Sabatier technology. Due to the high-temperature, low-pressure pyrolysis reaction, flight-ready reactor hardware must limit heat loss, employ robust materials of construction, and optimize performance. Honeywell is designing a flight-like methane pyrolysis reactor that will utilize advanced materials of construction and state-of-the-art thermal optimization. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of the complex hydrogen generation and carbon deposition reactions of methane pyrolysis both in the gas phase and within the internal substrates will be used to optimize maintenance interval and limit consumables. Honeywell will present the technical approach to integrating this technology on the International Space Station for demonstration of a fully closed-loop oxygen recovery system.


Amanda Childers, Honeywell International Inc., US
Stephen Yates, Honeywell International Inc., US
Abigail Parsons, Honeywell International Inc., US
Jeff Spencer, Honeywell International Inc., US
Jason Smoke, Honeywell International Inc., US
Mehrad Mehr, Honeywell International Inc., US
ICES302: Physio-chemical Life Support- Air Revitalization Systems -Technology and Process Development
The 51st International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Saint Paul, Minnesota, US, on 10 July 2022 through 14 July 2022.


Oxygen Recovery, Methane Pyrolysis, Sabatier, Design, CFD, Space Station