Applied Chemistry Lab

Applied Chemistry Lab (ACL)

The Applied Chemistry Laboratory (ACL) performs research and technology development for a wide range of chemistry and engineering related applications by creating integrated engineering solutions to solve the unique operational ground based and space based needs of NASA, as well as outside partners.  These technologies span the gamut of Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) from the formulation of an application based on a technology concept (TRL 2) through the testing of prototypes in relevant environments (TRL 7), and on track to achieve proven flight systems through Lunar mission operations (TRL 9).  A number of these technologies have also been commercialized as a benefit to all.  Additionally, the ACL provides support to NASA Programs that require the unique capabilities of the laboratory and personnel.

Oscar Team

The areas encompassed by research and Program support performed in the ACL includes, but is not limited to: the detection and monitoring of hypergolic and hazardous compounds such as hydrazine, nitrogen tetroxide, ammonia, hydrogen, and methane; chemical scrubbers for hazardous waste, new organic and inorganic materials development; environmental remediation technologies including ground/groundwater cleanup, green solvents, and green propellants; and Lunar and Martian in situ resource utilization (ISRU).  The ACL has developed a number of ISRU technologies both for the Moon (oxygen production from lunar regolith by means of hydrogen reduction and plasma reduction, purification of water produced by these chemical processes, and conversion of space trash to gases) as well as Mars (CO2 atmospheric capture, CO2 processing for methane and oxygen production, and ionic liquid solvation and electrolysis for oxygen production from CO2).  The laboratory is capable of chemical reactor and chemical conversion testing for various ISRU and logistics reduction technologies, as well as various plasma applications.

Hardware development in ACL

Technical Capabilities

  • Hypergol test capability must be retained in O&C due to facility infrastructure
  • Kintek vapor standards generators (dynamic range for hypergols: 500 ppm to 10 ppb)
  • DIONEX ICS-6000 Ion Chromatography System
  • Agilent 1260 Infinity Liquid Chromatograph
  • Diener Low Pressure PICO Tri-Gas Plasma Cleaning System
  • BAS 100B Potentiostat, BAS Galvanostat (LG50), and PWR3 power module
  • Thermo Electron ISQ GC/MS
  • Agilent 5973 GC/MS
  • Nicolet iS50 Fourier Transform Infrared (Diamond ATR, Diffuse Reflectance)
  • JASCO V770 UV/Vis/NIR Spectrophotometer
  • Ocean Optics Fiber Optic Fluorometer
  • Horiba Spex Fluoromax-3 Fluorometer
  • Labconco Freezone 2.5 Freeze Dryer System
  • Thermo IEC Multi Centrifuge
  • 2 PowerGen Homogenizers
  • Various High Speed Mixers
  • Parstat 2273 Electrochemical System
  • 4 Polystat Heater/Chillers
  • Vacuum Technology Incorporated Glove Box with Freezer
  • Carver Press with Heated Platens
  • Ball Mill Roller with Various Jars
  • 2 CascadeTek SVO-5-T
  • 2 Lesker BX2430 Thermal Vacuum Chambers
  • 2 Inficon Mass Spectrometers
  • 2 Inficon Fusion 3-channel gas chromatographs
Advanced Exploration System
Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Life Support Systems (LSS) Auxiliary Environmental Treatments (AET)