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The goal of the Contrails project is to help preserve and disseminate the technical record of 20th century aerospace research, highlighting in particular the research endeavors of the Illinois Tech community.

Feasibility of Removing Gaseous Contaminants from Manned Space-Cabin Atmosphers by Ionic Processes

Report Number: AMRL TR 66-22
Author(s): George J. Doyle; Robert G. Caldwell
Corporate Author: Stanford Research Institute
Laboratory: Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories
Date of Publication: 1966-02
Pages: 72
Contract: AF 33(615)-2405
Project: 6373
Task: 637302
AD Number: AD0635522

Abstract:
The application of ionic processes to the purification of manned space-cabin atmospheres was investigated in anticipation of a need for a radically new atmospheric purification system for some of the presently scheduled space journeys. Processes considered are (1) ion-molecule reactions of contaminant molecules with specific added molecule ions (O2(+), O2(-)) and (2) clustering of contaminant molecules about specific ions (H3O(+)). Either reaction type can lead to charging of the contaminant molecules (or molecules derived therefrom), allowing collection by an externally applied electric field. Ion-molecule reactions were found to be potentially useful for removal of a large class of contaminant species. However, charge-trapping reactions involving such species as water and oxygen--occurring or energetically capable of occurring concurrently or subsequently to the desired reaction--could interfere, thereby allowing no clear-cut decision as to the applicability of ion-molecule reactions to purification. Clustering was investigated in greater detail than ion-molecule reactions. Detailed calculation of ion-polar molecule interaction energies for typical molecules were carried out.

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