Student: Alec Countryman, Undergraduate Student in Chemical Engineering, University of Iowa
Research Mentor: Syed Mubeen
Integrated Lab-on-a-chip Life Support System for Manned Space Missions
The overall objective of this research project is to design and construct an innovative, lab-on-a-chip device that can produce breathing quality oxygen, as well as, methane which could, perhaps, be used for propellant. The project starts with the design, using COMSOL Multiphysics, of a to-scale Sabatier reactor for CO2 to H2O conversion. It is imperative for the entire device to be ‘small’ in both volume and weight as expense escalates with both dimensions. The transition from modeling to fabrication will commence thereafter thanks to our laboratory’s successful approach to fabricate miniaturized energy conversion devices and sensors using state of the art characterization and foundry techniques. Each component will first be used in macro scale for demonstration as a proof-of-concept. Following the proof-of-concept, a prototype will be constructed assuring the weight, volume and personal safety aspects are accounted for.