(171f) Modeling and Simulation of Catalytic Membrane Reactor for Application In Life Support Systems and In Situ Resource Utilization Conference: AIChE Annual MeetingYear: 2008Proceeding: 2008 AIChE Annual MeetingGroup: Catalysis and Reaction Engineering DivisionSession: Novel Reactor Design Time: Monday, November 17, 2008 - 5:20pm-5:45pm Authors: Hwang, H., University of Southern California Harale, A., University of Southern California Liu, P. K. T., Media and Process Technology Inc Sahimi, M., University of Southern California Tsotsis, T. T., University of Southern California Extensive numerical simulations were carried out to investigate the performance of a catalytic membrane reactor for air revitalization system (ARS) and in situ resource utilization (ISRU) of indigenous resource on Mars. For the proper performance of space life-support systems, for example, the removal from the cabin atmosphere of the CO2 produced by the inhabitants is required. For short-term flights, CO2 can be controlled by sorption on metal hydroxide adsorbents . For long-term space applications, however, continuous regenerative approaches are required, including pressure-swing adsorption and membranes which, in addition to removing the CO2, may, potentially, also allow for the recovery of oxygen . One approach proposed is the use of the methanation (Sabatier) reaction, in which CO2 reacts catalytically with hydrogen to simultaneously produce methane and water. In space applications, an important challenge for the application of catalytic reactor technology is the dilute concentrations of CO2, which make its pre-concentration a required step, thus complicating the process train. In this study, we investigate the application of a reactive separation technology, in which the catalytic and separation steps are coupled in-situ through the use of high-temperature membranes. Another potential application of the Sabatier reaction may be in the ISRU on Mars. ISRU is a very important new concept to be used to make human presence on Mars possible. This concept involves utilizing raw resources from Mars atmosphere to create useful commodities, such as oxygen and propellants like CH4 . The Sabatier reaction is so highly exothermic that make the internal temperature control of this unit a challenging task. Therefore, the process must perform thermally optimal in order be to obtain higher performance. For this purpose, the isothermal reaction data were analyzed using Hougen-Watson type rate equation [4, 5]. To validate the model used in the design simulations, and the applicability of the rate expressions, we also carried a series of MR experiments. Agreement between the experiments and the model predictions is satisfactory, particularly given the various simplifying assumptions in the model. The experimentally-validated model is used to study the design characteristics of both the ARS and ISRU systems. In the paper, we describe our current experimental and modeling efforts in this area aiming to establish the feasibility of the proposed reactive separation application for life-support and ISRU systems. References  D. A. Boryta & A. J. Mass, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Process Design and Development, 10, 4892 (1971) .  C. T. Chou & C. Y. Chen, Separation and Purification Technology 39, 51 (2004).  J. D. Holladay, K. P. Brooks, R. Wegeng, J. Hu, J. Sanders & S. Baird, Catalysis Today, 120, 35 (2007)  T. Q. Phungquach & D. Rouleau, Journal of Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology 26, 527 (1976).  P. Rotaru & S. I. Blejoiu, Journal of Indian Chemical Society 78, 343 (2001).