The design and development of a prototype carbon dioxide absorber using potassium carbonate (K2CO3) is described. Absorbers are constructed of thin, porous sheets of supported K2CO3 that are spirally wound to form a cylindrical reactor. Axial gas passages are formed between the porous sheets by corrugated screen material. Carbon dioxide and water in an enclosed life support system atmosphere react with potassium carbonate to form potassium bicarbonate. The potassium carbonate is regenerated by heating the potassium bicarbonate to 150° C at ambient pressure. The extravehicular mission design conditions are for one man for 8 h. Results are shown for a subunit test module investigating the effects of heat release, length-to-diameter ratio, and active cooling upon performance. The most important effect upon carbon dioxide removal is the temperature of the potassium carbonate.

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