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Through a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Laboratory is furthering the development of micro chemical and thermal systems, or MicroCATS, for chemical processing in space applications. Most conventional chemical process equipment requires gravity to operate. However, this vapor-liquid separator has extremely small channels that cause other forces to dominate. When a two-phase fluid, fluid that contains a mixture of liquid and gas, flows through the device, it separates the liquid into one stream and the gas into another. As simple as it may sound, this process can be so problematic without gravity that it can affect which technologies are selected for space systems. NASA is interested in new technologies for advanced systems for life support, extra-vehicular activity and even for missions to Mars.

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Document Title: MicroCATS in Space
Category: Energy Production and Conservation
Media Type: Photos
Date of Image/Photo: Spring 2001
Background: This story appeared in the Spring/Summer 2001 Breakthroughs, see http://www.pnl.gov/breakthroughs/spr-sum01/spotlight.html#rays
URL of this page: http://picturethis.pnl.gov/picturet.nsf/by+id/AMER-4YQTMN

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