NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 X2.03-9021
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Habitation and Waste Management Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: A Compact, Efficient Pyrolysis/Oxidation System for Solid Waste Resource Recovery in Space

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Advanced Fuel Research, Inc.
87 Church Street
East Hartford, CT 06108 - 3728
(860) 528-9806

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael Serio
87 Church Street
East Hartford, CT 06108 - 3728
(860) 528-9806

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
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.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed work would make it technically feasible to process solid waste streams in space which will benefit long term space travel, such as an extended Lunar stay or a mission to Mars. The proposed approach is beneficial to NASA in allowing for solid waste sterilization and stabilization, water purification and recovery, fuel gas production for propulsion or power generation, and/or production of chemical feedstocks and carbon materials in a single processing unit.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In the near term, the technology would have applications to solid waste resource recovery problems in remote areas such as underdeveloped countries, artic regions, oil production platforms, rural areas, farms, submarines, ships, etc., analogous to the uses for NASA technology developed for water purification. In the long term, the technology could be integrated with microturbines or fuel cells and have widespread business or residential use for solid waste removal and power generation. It could also be used by the DOD in military operations.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Biomass Production and Storage
Biomedical and Life Support
Radiation Shielding Materials
Renewable Energy
Sterilization/Pathogen and Microbial Control
Waste Processing and Reclamation

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56