NASA SBIR 01-1 Solicitation

FORM 9B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: B3.01-8864 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 013135 )
PROPOSAL TITLE:
Utilization of Space Waste to Manufacture Sorbents for Trace-Contaminant Removal

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project addresses the feasibility of producing regenerable sorbents for trace-contaminant control (mainly for on-board waste incineration systems) using a by-product (char) of an on-board waste pyrolysis process. The overall objective is to develop a gas clean-up system based on regenerable, waste-derived sorbents. The emphasis will be on the optimization of sorbent performance (break-through curves, sorption kinetics, sorbent regeneration, etc.), and on the integration of sorbent-preparation techniques with life-support operations. The objective of the Phase I study is to demonstrate the technical feasibility of using space waste materials to prepare effective SO2 and NO sorbents. This will be accomplished in three tasks: (1) Sorbent Preparation and Characterization (to prepare a number of trace-contaminant sorbents from space-waste materials and to characterize their properties in terms of specific surface area, pore volume, and pore-size distribution); (2) NO and SO2 Control Testing (to determine sorbent performance in terms of pollutant retention and sorbent regeneration); and (3) Process Assessment (to evaluate the concept in terms of sorbent performance, expected process compatibility with the space infrastructure and environment, system footprint, weight, and utilities demand (power, oxygen, etc.)).

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
The proposed process can be integrated with either of the following space resource recovery schemes: (1) incineration; (2) pyrolysis; or (3) a hybrid pyrolysis-incineration system. The main anticipated benefits are: (1) carbon and nitrogen, which are important elements present in the solid waste, can be efficiently stored in the form of pyrolysis char, then converted into activated carbon, used for trace-contaminant removal, and, if needed, recovered by gasification or combustion; (2) the sorbents will be produced from an on-board waste stream, and thus no additional sorbent material will have to be launched from Earth; and (3) the sorbents will reduce load on, or possibly eliminate the need for, catalytic convertors currently used in conjunction with incineration systems. In addition, activated-carbon based sorbents can be used for other life support needs, such as water purification and removal of volatile organic compounds. Finally, the production of activated carbon from human waste would provide means for safe storage of such wastes. The proposed system will make it technically feasible to process space solid waste into regenerable sorbents for air-pollution control. The proposed technology may have spin-off applications in solid waste processing for arctic regions, oil production platforms, submarines, ships, and military operations.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Marek A. Wojtowicz
Advanced Fuel Research, Inc.
87 Church Street
East Hartford , CT   06108 - 3728

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Advanced Fuel Research, Inc.
87 Church Street
East Hartford , CT   06108 - 3728


Form Printed on 06-19-01 15:44