INVESTIGATION OF THE THERMOELECTRIC ADSORBER CONCEPT FOR CARBON DIOXIDE REMOVAL FROM BREATHING ATMOSPHERES.
Final rept. 1 Jul 66-30 Jun 67,
AIR PRODUCTS AND CHEMICALS INC ALLENTOWN PA RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT DEPT
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An experimental investigation of the feasibility of the thermoelectric adsorber concept for the continuous removal of carbon dioxide from breathing atmospheres was conducted. Based on the theoretical analysis, a thermoelectric adsorber was designed and tested. By alternate cooling and heating of molecular sieve thermoelectrically in an adsorbent configuration which allowed rapid heat transfer, the removal of carbon dioxide from oxygen and adsorbent regeneration were investigated over a range of CO2 partial pressures, flow rates and adsorbent temperatures. Thermoelectrically cooled adsorbent capacities at 10 F were more than twice those at 70 F for the CO2 partial pressures investigated. The flat tablet adsorber column configuration proved superior from standpoints of amount of CO2 removed before breakthrough, pressure drop and ease of tablet fabrication. Adsorption zone lengths increased with increasing flow rates, but tended to level out at higher flows independent of temperature. Higher CO2 partial pressures generally produced shorter adsorption zone lengths. Adsorbent regeneration by thermoelectric heating to 200 F with gas purging and with vacuum desorption both proved effective regeneration methods providing water was not adsorbed. With adsorbed water, complete adsorbent regeneration was achieved at 400 F with a gas purge. Test results demonstrated the feasibility of the thermoelectric adsorber concept for continuous removal of carbon dioxide from breathing atmospheres and provided a basis for the conceptual design of a thermoelectric adsorber for removal of carbon dioxide and water in a one-man aircraft rebreather system. Author
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