Thermal Regeneration of Spent Lithium Hydroxide

by Venkatesh Srinivasan, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, United States,
Bernadette Luna, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space IV


Exploration of planetary surfaces will require portable life-support systems to provide a continuous supply of breathable air. These systems will need to be regenerable in order to support many missions without resupply of air from Earth. Developing a light-weight regenerable carbon dioxide absorber to meet the exacting needs of planetary explorations is the problem under investigation. Since a light-weight system is essential to astronauts on a planetary surface, the researchers in the Extravehicular Systems Branch at NASA Ames Research Center are investigating the feasibility of regenerating lithium hydroxide from lithium carbonate (the spent material). In-house studies to date have shown that it may, in fact, be possible to regenerate lithium hydroxide by thermally decomposing lithium carbonate under carefully controlled conditions. This paper describes the preliminary results of the ongoing work of this team.

Subject Headings: Space life support systems | Light (artificial) | Carbon dioxide | Thermal analysis | Space structures | Space exploration | Decomposition

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