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Project Title:  Portable Cathode-Air-Vapor-Feed Electrochemical Medical Oxygen Concentrator Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2010 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP ExMC:Exploration Medical Capabilities
Start Date: 02/05/2010  
End Date: 02/08/2013  
Task Last Updated: 11/12/2010 
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Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Cisar, Alan  Ph.D. / Lynntech, Inc. 
Address:  7610 Eastmark Drive 
College Station , TX 77840-4023 
Phone: (979) 693-0017  
Congressional District: 17 
Organization Type: INDUSTRY 
Organization Name: Lynntech, Inc. 
Joint Agency:  
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NNX10CA96C 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Watkins, Sharmi1a  
Center Contact: 281.483.0395 
Solicitation / Funding Source: SBIR Phase II 
Grant/Contract No.: NNX10CA96C 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:  
No. of PhD Candidates:  
No. of Master's Candidates:  
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:  
No. of PhD Degrees:  
No. of Master's Degrees:  
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:  
Human Research Program Elements: (1) ExMC:Exploration Medical Capabilities
Human Research Program Risks: (1) ExMC:Risk of Unacceptable Health and Mission Outcomes Due to Limitations of In-flight Medical Capabilities (IRP Rev E)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) ExMC 4.04:We do not have the capability to deliver supplemental oxygen to crew members while minimizing local and cabin oxygen build-up during exploration missions (IRP Rev E)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date change to 02/08/2013 per 3/14/2012 HRP Master Task List information (Ed., 3/28/2012)

Task Description: Future space exploration missions present significant new challenges to crew health care capabilities, particularly in the efficient utilization of on-board oxygen resources. The International Space Station and future exploration vehicles require a light weight, compact, portable oxygen concentrator technology (OCT) that can provide medical grade oxygen from the ambient cabin air. Current OCTs are heavy, bulky, have a narrow operating temperature range (ambient to 40 degree Celsius), and require 15 to 30 minutes start-up time to reach their full operating capacity. Lynntech's proposed electrochemical OCT solves these issues by operating the OCT with a cathode-air vapor feed, unlike conventional electrochemical OCTs which require a liquid water feed. This is possible due to the use of in-house developed proprietary nanocomposite proton exchange membrane and catalyst technologies. Cathode-air vapor feed operation eliminates the need for a bulky on-board water supply, significantly reduces the complexity of the balance-of-plant, and greatly increases the system efficiency. OCT will be a quarter the size and weight of conventional OCTs, be capable of instant start-up, and have a wide operating temperature range. Lynntech will develop a Phase II prototype that is capable of delivering 4 SLPM of 60% oxygen and deliver it to NASA for further testing.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS : Lynntech's lightweight, portable electrochemical oxygen concentrator technology has the potential to provide a compact, robust, on-demand/continuous oxygen concentrating device. Providing lightweight compact oxygen concentrator devices will have applications for NASA, ISS and future exploration vehicles supporting long duration missions that require improved medical capabilities and enhanced on-board resource utilization, particularly oxygen delivery. This technology will enable both ambient pressure operating devices (for portable applications) and pressurized (up to 3600 psia) oxygen concentrator devices (for stationary applications). With minor design changes, this OC system can also be used as high pressure oxygen compressor (up to 3600 psi).

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: A lightweight, portable and/or mobile, oxygen concentrator, and one, in particular, that is capable of delivering minimum 60% humidified oxygen gas at pressures of 5 psi and above, would find many applications in the health services industry. It is estimated that 2 to 4 million cardiopulmonary patients in the U.S. require supplementary oxygen; approximately 500,000 of which require continuous oxygen therapy. Current means to supply oxygen include compressed oxygen cylinders (heavy and expensive); liquid oxygen (cryogenic and expensive); and molecular sieve-bed oxygen concentrators that use molecular sieve technology. Weight, size, power, and cost requirements for current commercially available oxygen concentrators have been the major hurdles for gaining the market acceptance, thus limited availability to those in need of oxygen therapy. With Lynntech's advanced electrochemical oxygen concentrator technology, this need can be satisfied very easily to improve the quality of lifestyle of those in need of a portable, compact oxygen generator.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2010 
Task Progress: New project for FY2010. Reporting not required for this SBIR Phase 2 project.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: ) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 None in FY 2010