Use of methane in closed-loop life support systems for space missions

Автор: Zheleznyakov Alexandr Grigorievich, Glukhikh Sergey Aleksandrovich, Guzenberg Arkady Samuilovich, Romanov Sergey Yurievich, Yurgin Aleksey Viktorovich, Ryabkin Aleksandr Moiseevich

Журнал: Космическая техника и технологии @ktt-energia

Рубрика: Проектирование, конструкция и производство летательных аппаратов

Статья в выпуске: 4 (35), 2021 года.

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The paper discusses the use of methane (generated in the process of oxygen recovery from carbon dioxide released by the crew during its hydrogenation in the Sabatier reaction, with subsequent extraction of 61% of oxygen through electrolysis of the resultant water) in a regenerative life support system for crews on space missions. It demonstrates that the methane resulting from Sabatier reaction can be used both for pyrolysis in order to return the resulting hydrogen into this reaction so as to extract 100% of oxygen from carbon dioxide, and for producing food protein for life support in space. The use of methane pyrolysis was enabled by new technologies which allowed lowering the process temperature down to 500- 700 °C and obtaining the easy-to-remove carbon. It provides recommendations for designing space systems for methane pyrolysis. The paper makes the case for use of the existing processes for industrial production of protein from methane using methanotrophic bacteria in the production of food protein for space food rations, determines the balance of a closed-loop methanotrophic reaction, provides calculation basis and recommendations for designing space systems for methanotrophic production of food protein. Development of a system for food protein production from methane will enable its use as one of the systems for providing food on the Moon and Mars, as well as a backupsystem in space transportation missions.


Space missions, crew life support, со2 hydration, methane pyrolysis, methanotrophic bacteria, food protein

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IDR: 143178168   |   DOI: 10.33950/spacetech-2308-7625-2021-4-78-92

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