MicroChannel reactors for ISRU applications using nanofabricated catalysts

Susana Carranza, Darby B. Makel, Randy Lee Vander Wal, Gordon M. Berger, Vladimir V. Pushkarev

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

With the new direction of NASA to emphasize the exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond, quick development and demonstration of efficient systems for In-Situ Resources Utilization (ISRU) is more critical and timely than ever before. Affordable planning and execution of prolonged manned space missions depend upon the utilization of local resources and the waste products which are formed in manned spacecraft and surface bases. This paper presents current development of miniaturized chemical processing systems that combine microchannel reactor design with nanofabricated catalysts. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) are used to produce a nanostructure within microchannel reactors, as support for catalysts. By virtue of their nanoscale dimensions, nanotubes geometrically restrict the catalyst particle size that can be supported upon the tube walls. By confining catalyst particles to sizes smaller than the CNT diameter, a more uniform catalyst particle size distribution may be maintained. The high dispersion permitted by the vast surface area of the nanoscale material serves to retain the integrity of the catalyst by reducing sintering or coalescence. Additionally, catalytic efficiency increases with decreasing catalyst particle size (reflecting higher surface area per unit mass) while chemical reactivity frequently is enhanced at the nanoscale. Particularly significant is the catalyst exposure. Rather than being confined within a porous material or deposited upon a 2-d surface, the catalyst is fully exposed to the reactant gases by virtue of the nanofabricated support structure. The combination of microchannel technology with nanofabricated catalysts provides a synergistic effect, enhancing both technologies with the potential to produce much more efficient systems than either technology alone. The development of highly efficient microchannel reactors will be applicable to multiple ISRU programs. By selection of proper nanofabricated catalysts, the microchannel reactors can be designed for the processes that generate the most benefit for each mission, from early demonstration missions to long term settlements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSTAIF 2006: 10th Conf. on Thermophysics Applic. in Micrograv.; 23rd Symp. on Space Nucl. Power and Propulsion; 4th Conf.on Human/Robotic Technol. and the Nat. Vission for Space Explor. on Space Colon.
Pages1130-1137
Number of pages8
Volume813
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 20 2006
EventSTAIF 2006: 10th Conf. on Thermophysics Applic. in Micrograv.; 23rd Symp. on Space Nucl. Power and Propulsion; 4th Conf. on Human/Robotic Technol. and the Nat. Vision for Space Explor.; 4th Symp. on Space Coloniz.; 3rd Symp.on New Front. and Future C - Albuquerque, NM, United States
Duration: Feb 12 2006Feb 16 2006

Other

OtherSTAIF 2006: 10th Conf. on Thermophysics Applic. in Micrograv.; 23rd Symp. on Space Nucl. Power and Propulsion; 4th Conf. on Human/Robotic Technol. and the Nat. Vision for Space Explor.; 4th Symp. on Space Coloniz.; 3rd Symp.on New Front. and Future C
CountryUnited States
CityAlbuquerque, NM
Period2/12/062/16/06

Fingerprint

in situ resource utilization
microchannels
reactors
catalysts
manned spacecraft
carbon nanotubes
reactor design
space missions
porous materials
moon
particle size distribution
confining
mars
integrity
coalescing
planning
nanotubes
resources
sintering

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Carranza, S., Makel, D. B., Vander Wal, R. L., Berger, G. M., & Pushkarev, V. V. (2006). MicroChannel reactors for ISRU applications using nanofabricated catalysts. In STAIF 2006: 10th Conf. on Thermophysics Applic. in Micrograv.; 23rd Symp. on Space Nucl. Power and Propulsion; 4th Conf.on Human/Robotic Technol. and the Nat. Vission for Space Explor. on Space Colon. (Vol. 813, pp. 1130-1137) https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2169294
Carranza, Susana ; Makel, Darby B. ; Vander Wal, Randy Lee ; Berger, Gordon M. ; Pushkarev, Vladimir V. / MicroChannel reactors for ISRU applications using nanofabricated catalysts. STAIF 2006: 10th Conf. on Thermophysics Applic. in Micrograv.; 23rd Symp. on Space Nucl. Power and Propulsion; 4th Conf.on Human/Robotic Technol. and the Nat. Vission for Space Explor. on Space Colon.. Vol. 813 2006. pp. 1130-1137
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Carranza, S, Makel, DB, Vander Wal, RL, Berger, GM & Pushkarev, VV 2006, MicroChannel reactors for ISRU applications using nanofabricated catalysts. in STAIF 2006: 10th Conf. on Thermophysics Applic. in Micrograv.; 23rd Symp. on Space Nucl. Power and Propulsion; 4th Conf.on Human/Robotic Technol. and the Nat. Vission for Space Explor. on Space Colon.. vol. 813, pp. 1130-1137, STAIF 2006: 10th Conf. on Thermophysics Applic. in Micrograv.; 23rd Symp. on Space Nucl. Power and Propulsion; 4th Conf. on Human/Robotic Technol. and the Nat. Vision for Space Explor.; 4th Symp. on Space Coloniz.; 3rd Symp.on New Front. and Future C, Albuquerque, NM, United States, 2/12/06. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2169294

MicroChannel reactors for ISRU applications using nanofabricated catalysts. / Carranza, Susana; Makel, Darby B.; Vander Wal, Randy Lee; Berger, Gordon M.; Pushkarev, Vladimir V.

STAIF 2006: 10th Conf. on Thermophysics Applic. in Micrograv.; 23rd Symp. on Space Nucl. Power and Propulsion; 4th Conf.on Human/Robotic Technol. and the Nat. Vission for Space Explor. on Space Colon.. Vol. 813 2006. p. 1130-1137.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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T1 - MicroChannel reactors for ISRU applications using nanofabricated catalysts

AU - Carranza, Susana

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AU - Vander Wal, Randy Lee

AU - Berger, Gordon M.

AU - Pushkarev, Vladimir V.

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N2 - With the new direction of NASA to emphasize the exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond, quick development and demonstration of efficient systems for In-Situ Resources Utilization (ISRU) is more critical and timely than ever before. Affordable planning and execution of prolonged manned space missions depend upon the utilization of local resources and the waste products which are formed in manned spacecraft and surface bases. This paper presents current development of miniaturized chemical processing systems that combine microchannel reactor design with nanofabricated catalysts. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) are used to produce a nanostructure within microchannel reactors, as support for catalysts. By virtue of their nanoscale dimensions, nanotubes geometrically restrict the catalyst particle size that can be supported upon the tube walls. By confining catalyst particles to sizes smaller than the CNT diameter, a more uniform catalyst particle size distribution may be maintained. The high dispersion permitted by the vast surface area of the nanoscale material serves to retain the integrity of the catalyst by reducing sintering or coalescence. Additionally, catalytic efficiency increases with decreasing catalyst particle size (reflecting higher surface area per unit mass) while chemical reactivity frequently is enhanced at the nanoscale. Particularly significant is the catalyst exposure. Rather than being confined within a porous material or deposited upon a 2-d surface, the catalyst is fully exposed to the reactant gases by virtue of the nanofabricated support structure. The combination of microchannel technology with nanofabricated catalysts provides a synergistic effect, enhancing both technologies with the potential to produce much more efficient systems than either technology alone. The development of highly efficient microchannel reactors will be applicable to multiple ISRU programs. By selection of proper nanofabricated catalysts, the microchannel reactors can be designed for the processes that generate the most benefit for each mission, from early demonstration missions to long term settlements.

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Carranza S, Makel DB, Vander Wal RL, Berger GM, Pushkarev VV. MicroChannel reactors for ISRU applications using nanofabricated catalysts. In STAIF 2006: 10th Conf. on Thermophysics Applic. in Micrograv.; 23rd Symp. on Space Nucl. Power and Propulsion; 4th Conf.on Human/Robotic Technol. and the Nat. Vission for Space Explor. on Space Colon.. Vol. 813. 2006. p. 1130-1137 https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2169294