Researchers at the University of Alicante have made platinum and carbon nanomaterials, which will be shipped to the International Space Station this week to be used as electrocatalysts in experiments. They are part of a device used to study the ammonia oxidation reaction, which is a NASA project designed to obtain water and energy from the urine of crew members.
It is scheduled to launch a cargo ship loaded with supplies from Wallops Island, Virginia, USA this Tuesday for International Space Station (ISS), but bad weather conditions forced the takeoff to be postponed until at least October 1.
The materials that the ship will transport include equipment with Spanish technology.Specifically, by University of Alicante (UA) by PhD student Roberto Martínez, technician Francisco José Vidal Iglesias and researcher José Solla-Gullón.
These nanomaterials are made of Platinum nanocube Supported on a carbonaceous substrate and will be used as Electrocatalyst In the electrochemical device, the oxidation reaction of ammonia in the ISS will be studied.
The experiment is part of a project related to the purification of urine in space, and this progress is very important for long-term missions such as planned long-term stays in space. Luna Or later manned travel Mars.
Smaller than a shoebox
Current initiatives include the design, construction and evaluation of electrochemical systems smaller than a shoebox, which NASA will integrate into the system. Urine Recovery System Astronauts produce water and energy (if possible).
After certain processes, human urine will be converted into ammonia, and ammonia can easily be electrochemically eliminated by the electrocatalyst designed by Spanish researchers. Solla-Gullón emphasized: “They are the most important part of electrochemical devices.”
This Ammoxidation reaction It converts this molecule into water and nitrogen, a gas that is easily eliminated through an electrochemical oxidation process, during which electrons are generated, which can be used as energy sources for powering certain instruments on the ship.
Once it is placed in the ISS, the system will automatically start working and experiment with its two liquid pumps and two electrode systems.
The device was developed by researcher Camila Morales Navas from University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras Campus (UPRRP) is a disciple of Professor Carlos Cabrera, with whom UA researchers collaborate.
Designed for use in electrochemical systems operating on the International Space Station. /UA/UPRRP