Catalytic Decomposition of Gaseous Byproducts from Heat Melt Waste Compaction
Volume reduction is a critical element of Solid Waste Management for manned spacecraft and planetary habitations. To this end, a Heat Melt Compaction System is under development at Ames Research Center. During the heating process, certain volatile organic vapors are produced. Here we propose the development of a catalytic system for the treatment of these gaseous byproducts which will decomposed volatile organics into harmless inorganic substances such as carbon dioxide and water. These products may then be rerouted to the Life Support System for reduction to produce water (from CO2), and electrolysis of water to yield oxygen. Feasibility of the catalytic methods will be demonstrated during the Phase I research. The follow-on Phase II effort will result in the design, assembly, rigorous testing, and delivery to NASA of a prototype system, sized to operate in conjunction with the NASA developed compaction system.
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