The oxidation of ammonia on a supported ruthenium catalyst



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Texas Tech University


The buildup of biologically produced ammonia in a closed spacecabin environment represents a hazard to crewmen making extended voyages. The primary source of ammonia is urine, and although efforts are made to control emissions at this source, traces of ammonia escape into the spacecabin. In order to maintain a safe and breathable atmosphere for life support, the spacecraft's trace contaminant removal system must be able to efficiently remove this ammonia. Potentially the best method of doing this is through catalytic oxidation to water and molecular nitrogen.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has awarded Texas Tech University a two year research contract (NAS 1-9506) to study the changes which ammonia undergoes when passed through the catalytic oxidizer of a spacecraft trace contaminant removal system.