A Compact, Efficient Pyrolysis/Oxidation System for Solid Waste Resource Recovery in Space

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX09CC55P
Agency Tracking Number: 084979
Amount: $99,782.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: X2.03
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
87 Church Street, East Hartford, CT, 06108-3728
DUNS: 021804661
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Michael Serio
 Principal Investigator
 (860) 528-9806
 mserio@AFRinc.com
Business Contact
 Michael Serio
Title: Business Official
Phone: (860) 528-9806
Email: mserio@AFRinc.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Both pyrolysis and oxidation steps have been considered as the key solid waste processing step for a Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS). Pyrolysis is more amenable to handling mixed solid waste streams in a microgravity environment, but produces a more complex product stream. Oxidation (incineration) produces a simpler product stream, but the oxidation of mixed solids is a complex unit operation in a microgravity environment. Pyrolysis is endothermic and requires no oxygen, while oxidation is exothermic and requires oxygen. A previous NASA SBIR Phase I and Phase II project has successfully integrated pyrolysis of the solid waste and oxidation of the fuel gases into a single, batch processing prototype unit. This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project addresses the feasibility of integrating pyrolysis, tar cracking, and oxidation steps into a compact, efficient system for processing of spacecraft solid wastes. This integration will result in a reduction in energy consumption, an overall reduction in system complexity, and a lower Equivalent System Mass (ESM). The objective of the Phase I study is to demonstrate the feasibility of this integration process using bench scale experiments. This will be accomplished in three tasks: 1) design and construct integrated bench scale unit; 2) laboratory studies using simulated solid waste sample; 3) evaluation of laboratory results and preliminary design of Phase II prototype.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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