NASA SBIR 02-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02- B3.01-8520 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 023479 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Spacecraft Life Support
PROPOSAL TITLE: Microwave Powered Solid Waste Stabilization and Water Recovery

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Umpqua Research Company
P.O. Box 609
Myrtle Creek , OR   97457 - 0102
(541 ) 863 - 7770

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James E. Atwater
P.O. Box 609
Myrtle Creek , OR   97457 - 0102
(541 ) 863 - 7770

A Microwave Powered Solid Waste Stabilization (MPSWS) system is proposed as the primary step in the treatment of solid waste materials generated during extended manned space missions. The proposed system will recover water initially contained within the wastes and stabilize the residue with respect to microbial growth. The dry waste may then be safely stored or passed on to the next solid waste treatment process. Using microwave power in a closed system, the MPSWS will selectively and rapidly heat the water present in solid wastes. Liquid phase water will flash to steam and superheat. The steam will contact all exposed surfaces and provide an effective thermal kill of all microorganisms present, in a manner similar to that of an autoclave. Both water and heat will be recovered in a condensing heat exchanger. Applicable solid wastes include, but are not limited to, inedible plant biomass, food scraps and fecal matter.

Commercialization opportunities exist within both governmental and private sectors. For the private sector, the primary commercialization opportunity will be in the areas of biohazard containment and elimination and environmental remediation. The proposed technology offers many attractive features which can be utilized for the safe mass reduction and stabilization by disinfection and dehydration of solid hazardous wastes. Two private sector opportunities are immediately apparent: [1] hardware for the stabilization and disinfection of hospital waste, and [2] hardware for the destruction of biohazardous materials generated during biological, pharmaceutical, and biomedical research.

The primary NASA application of the proposed technology will be as flight hardware required by NASA and its international partners to support future long duration manned missions in space, including Mars transit, Mars base, and lunar outpost missions.

Form Printed on 09-05-02 10:10