NASA SBIR 2002 Solicitation

FORM B - SBIR PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02-II B3.01-8520 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 023479 )
PHASE-I CONTRACT NUMBER: NAS2-03124
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
125 Volunteer Way
Myrtle Creek , OR   97457 - 0102
(541 ) 863 - 7770

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
James E. Atwater, PChem, CChE
jatwater@urcmail.net
PO Box 609
Myrtle Creek , OR   97457 - 0102
(541 ) 863 - 7770

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
A Microwave Powered Solid Waste Stabilization and Water Recovery system is proposed as the primary step in the treatment of solid waste materials generated during extended manned space missions. The system will recover water initially contained within wastes and stabilize the residue with respect to microbial growth. Dry waste may then be safely stored or passed to the next waste treatment process. Using microwave power, water present in the solid waste is selectively and rapidly heated. Liquid phase water flashes to steam and superheats. Hot water and steam formed in the interior of waste particles create an environment that is lethal to bacteria, yeasts, molds, and viruses. Superheated steam contacts all exposed surfaces and provides an effective thermal kill of microbes, in a manner similar to that of an autoclave. Both water and heat are recovered in a condensing heat exchanger, with further water reclaimed from saturated air by adsorption, using microwave regenerable sorbents. Benefits of microwave power include rapid heat-up and cool-down, and selective heating of water by the direct absorption of electromagnetic radiation, thus minimizing conductive and convective losses. This translates directly into reduced size and power requirements, and lower Equivalent System Mass (ESM).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The primary governmental application for the proposed innovation will be as Flight Hardware purchased by NASA, or by an aerospace contracting firm on behalf of NASA, to provide solid waste stabilization and resource recovery, thereby minimizing resupply requirements for future advanced life support (ALS) systems needed for long duration manned missions in space, such as a Lunar base, or a manned mission to Mars.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Within the private sector, the primary commercialization opportunities are in the areas of biohazard containment and elimination. 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, particularly infectious wastes or wastes containing genetically engineered microorganisms. Two private sector opportunities are immediately apparent: [1] hardware for the stabilization and disinfection of medical wastes generated in physicians offices, clinical laboratories, hospitals, etc., and [2] hardware for the destruction of biohazardous materials generated during biological, pharmaceutical, and biomedical research.


Form Printed on 10-03-03 11:34