NASA SBIR 02-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02- B3.01-8163 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 023836 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Spacecraft Life Support
PROPOSAL TITLE: A Hybrid Pyrolysis/Incineration System for Solid Waste Resource Recovery

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

Both pyrolysis and incineration 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. Incineration produces a simpler product stream, but the incineration of mixed solids is a complex unit operation in a microgravity environment. Pyrolysis is endothermic and requires no oxygen, while incineration is exothermic and requires oxygen. This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project addresses the feasibility of integrating pyrolysis and incineration steps into a system for processing of spacecraft solid wastes. This integration will take advantage of the best features of each process and result in an overall reduction in the system complexity and Equivalent System Mass (ESM). The objective of the Phase I study is to demonstrate the feasiblity of this integration process using a combination of bench scale experiments and modeling studies. This will be accomplished in four tasks: 1) Design and construct bench scale unit; 2) laboratory studies on solid waste processing; 3) evaluation of laboratory results; 4) preliminary design of Phase II prototype.

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 use business or residential use for solid waste removal and power generation. It could also be used by the DOD in military operations.

The proposed work would make it technically feasible to process solid waste streams in space which will benefit long term space travel, such as a mission to Mars.

Form Printed on 09-05-02 10:10