NASA Awards PCI Phase I Contract To Develop Ultra-Compact Bosch Process

NORTH HAVEN, CT (January 06, 2011)

(North Haven) Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) announced today that its Novel, Regenerable Microlith® catalytic reactor for CO2 Reduction via Bosch process has been selected for award of a NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract. Current air revitalization systems onboard manned space missions remove CO2 from the cabin air and then vent it overboard. The Bosch reaction uses hydrogen as a means to produce water from carbon dioxide, potentially closing the loop in cabin atmosphere revitalization systems.

The utilization of carbon dioxide to produce life support consumables, such as O2 and H2O, via the Bosch reaction offers a potential advance for NASA's cabin atmosphere revitalization system (ARS) and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) concepts for long-term manned space missions. Existing Bosch reactor technologies, however, suffer from a large recycle penalty due to slow reaction rates and the inherent limitation in approaching thermodynamic equilibrium. Additionally, the carbon formed in current reactors fouls the catalyst with no successful in-situ regeneration demonstrated to date, causing large storage problem.

PCI proposes to develop an extremely compact, lightweight and regenerable Microlith® catalytic CO2 reduction reactor capable of converting mixtures of CO2 and H2 to carbon and water vapor with high CO2 conversions at high throughputs and at low operating temperatures. PCI's short contact time Microlith® technology has the potential for faster reaction rates; higher conversions and reduced need for recycle along with novel catalyst regeneration.

Dr. Saurabh A. Vilekar, the Project's Principal Investigator, commented,

"Successful development of our Bosch reactor offers a significant advance over conventional technologies,eliminating the need for large storage and expendables. Our technology tenders the potential for efficient production of life support needs from in-situ resources for deep exploration of space while significantly reducing launch weight, size, and cost."

Precision Combustion, Inc. is a clean energy technology company developing and manufacturing catalytic devices and systems for energy sector applications. To learn more, visit

The U.S. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program seeks to stimulate technological innovation through competitive solicitations targeted to solve government agency objectives. Approximately one in eight Phase I proposals are funded for proof-of-concept R&D, with 40%-45% of those advancing to a Phase II for sustained development. Winners keep the rights to technology developed and are encouraged to commercialize the technology.

For more information, contact: Tony Anderson
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