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Research On The Electrolysis Of Water Under Weightless Conditions

Report Number: MRL TDR 62-44
Author: Clifford, John E.
Author: Gates, James T.
Corporate Author: Battelle Memorial Inst Columbus Ohio
Laboratory: Life Support Systems Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1962-05
Pages: 118
Contract: AF 33(616)-7351
Project: 6373
Task: 637302
AD Number: AD0283255

A laboratory-model rotating electrolysis cell was designed for electrolysis of water under zero-gravity conditions. Satisfactory operation was obtained in the three evaluation runs of 3/4, 2, and 2-1/2 hours duration. Hydrogen and oxygen w re evolved with the cell operating at the designed electrolysis current of 254 amperes (corresponding to a 2-man unit for electrolyzing water at the rate of 2.25 pounds of water per day per man). No component of the earth's gravity field was used in effecting the separation of the gas from the electrolyte during electrolysis. The laboratory model weighs 284 pounds including 30 pounds of electrolyte and occupies a cylindrical space of 4.4 cubic feet (17-1/2 inches' maximum diameter by 31-1/2 inches' height). The electrolysis portion is a drumshaped unit containing 16 individual cells in parallel electrically. With the unit rotating at about 500 rpm, the lowest measured total power consumption was 637 watts; 457 watts was estimated for extended operation at zero gravity with series-connected cells. The present laboratorymodel design features high reliability, low power consumption, and versatility for use as a 3-, 4-, or 5-man cell.

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