NanoRacks-The Ohio State University-Zeolite Crystal (NanoRacks-OSU-Zeolite) - 07.28.16

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
NanoRacks-The Ohio State University-Zeolite Crystal Growth (NanoRacks-OSU-Zeolite) processes materials science samples in microgravity. The science goals for NanoRacks-OSU-Zeolite are proprietary.
Science Results for Everyone
Cerium oxide or ceria, a powerful antioxidant, is widely used in diverse technologies from solar cells to cancer treatments. When researchers synthesized ceria in microgravity and normal gravity, the space samples showed lower surface area and pore volume, but larger pores and broader range in pore size. Microgravity and normal-gravity samples also varied in particle size and shape, perhaps because of lack of particle sedimentation during crystal growth in space. When the pH was raised, ceria synthesized at normal gravity showed minimal change but space samples experienced significant decrease in particle size.

The following content was provided by Michael P. Snyder, M.S. Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Michael P. Snyder, M.S. Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, Made in Space, Moffett Field, CA, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Information Pending

Developer(s)
NanoRacks LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2010 - March 2011

Expeditions Assigned
25/26

Previous Missions
ISS Expedition 25/26 is the first mission for the NanoRacks-OSU-Zeolite investigation.

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • NanoRacks-The Ohio State University-Zeolite Crystal Growth (NanoRacks-OSU-Zeolite) uses a two cube unit box installed in the first NanoRacks Platform on the International Space Station (ISS).
  • NanoRacks-OSU-Zeolite is an Ohio State University Zeolite crystal growth investigation for the International Space Station (ISS) using 24 MixStix (liquid mixing tube assemblies) that function similar to commercial “glow sticks”. The science goals for NanoRacks-OSU-Zeolite are proprietary.

Description
NanoRacks-The Ohio State University-Zeolite Crystal Growth (NanoRacks-OSU-Zeolite) uses a two cube unit box. NanoRacks-OSU-Zeolite is a university Zeolite crystal growth investigation for the International Space Station (ISS) using 24 liquid mixing tube assemblies that function similar to commercial “glow sticks”. The science goals for NanoRacks-OSU-Zeolite are proprietary.

NanoRacksFacility is a multipurpose research facility providing power and data transfer capability to the NanoRacks-CubeLabs Modules. Each NanoRacks Platform is approximately 17 x 9 x 20 inches and weighs approximately 12 pounds. A NanoRacks Platform is designed for use within the pressurized space station environment. Each platform provides room for up to 16 Modules to plug effortlessly into a standard Universal Serial Bus (USB) connector, which provides both power and data connectivity. Its plug and play system uses a simple, standardized interface that reduces payload integration cost and schedule for nanoscale research in microgravity.

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Applications

Space Applications
This investigation is a part of a series of investigations to be conducted on board the ISS to provide the foundation for use of the ISS as a National Laboratory following assembly complete.

Earth Applications
The long-term goal of this project is to enhance technological, industrial, and educational growth for the benefit of people on Earth.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
The experiment is activated by flexing the liquid mixing containers.
The experiment is activated by flexing the liquid mixing containers. The experiment is later returned to Earth.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Cerium oxide (CeO2) or ceria is an inorganic compound of Cerium. Due to its unique chemical ability to change oxidation state, and is also a powerful antioxidant and efficient scavenger of free radicals (atoms or groups of atoms that contain an odd number of electrons and are damaging to cells), it is widely used in many diverse and important technologies from solar cells, automotive, to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Space synthesis of ceria was investigated by mixing cerium nitrate and sodium hydroxide solutions at room temperature, under both microgravity (space) and normal-gravity (control) for comparison. The ceria samples that were prepared in space showed lower surface area and pore volume compared to the Earth samples. Pore size analysis indicated that the space ceria samples consisted of larger pores with a broader pore size distribution. It was confirmed that the space samples were mostly nano-rods, whereas control samples contained nano-polyhedra. Space ceria samples were more crystalline and the average particle size was larger than the control samples. The difference in particle size and shape between space and control ceria is thought to be due to improved oriented attachment crystal growth process where more collision of ceria particle occurs in microgravity. This can be attributed to lack of sedimentation of the ceria particles in space. Also, the effect of pH was examined by changing the concentration of sodium hydroxide in the solution. The ceria samples synthesized under normal-gravity at room temperature showed minimal differences with the change in pH. However, a significant decrease in particle size was observed for space samples which were prepared in a more basic (higher pH) medium, with a number of nano-polyhedra and spheres also being present.

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Results Publications

    Soykal II, Sohn H, Bayram B, Gawade P, Snyder MP, Levine SE, Oz H, Ozkan US.  Effect of microgravity on synthesis of nano ceria. Catalysts. 2015 July 20; 5(3): 1306-1320. DOI: 10.3390/catal5031306.

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Ground Based Results Publications

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

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Related Websites
NanoRacks LLC

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Imagery

image NanoRacks-The Ohio State University-Zeolite Crystal Growth (NanoRacks-OSU-Zeolite) is an experiment designed to mix compounds used for a microgravity crystal growth experiment. Image courtesy of NanoRacks, LLC.
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