NASA awarded a multi-year contract to Skyhaven to develop a hydrogen and methane separation unit for Martian processing.
Company - Skyhaven (Reactive Innovations)
- Space Resources
- In-Space Manufacturing
ISRU (In Situ Resource Utilization)
- First launch
- Not announced
In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) processing of the carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere has created a number of process units toward producing oxygen, hydrogen, water, and methane. One process unit, the Sabatier reactor, reacts carbon dioxide and hydrogen producing methane and water, where the water is further processed. However, the outlet of this reactor produces a mixed stream of CH4, water, and H2.
NASA desires to separate the H2 from the CH4 and H2O constituents to reuse the hydrogen gas while further removing the H2O and storing the CH4 fuel. Accordingly, a separation unit is needed that can separate hydrogen from a 400 °C process stream containing 0.34 kg CH4/hr, 0.03 kg H2/hr, and 0.8 kg steam/hr. Toward this need, Skyhaven Systems is developing a micro-channel separator that can selectively remove hydrogen from this process stream in a compact and low mass system of 8 cc and 10 grams, respectively.