NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 B3.06-9299
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Waste and Water Processing for Spacecraft Advanced Life Support
PROPOSAL TITLE: Catalytic Decomposition of Gaseous Byproducts from Heat Melt Waste Compaction

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, 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 R. Akse, Ph.D.
akse@urcmail.net
PO Box 609
Myrtle Creek, OR 97457-0102
(541)863-2653

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Volume reduction is a critical element of Solid Waste Management for manned spacecraft and planetary habitations. To this end, a Heat Melt Compaction System is under development at Ames Research Center. During the heating process, certain volatile organic vapors are produced. Here we propose the development of a catalytic system for the treatment of these gaseous byproducts which will decomposed volatile organics into harmless inorganic substances such as carbon dioxide and water. These products may then be rerouted to the Life Support System for reduction to produce water (from CO2), and electrolysis of water to yield oxygen. Feasibility of the catalytic methods will be demonstrated during the Phase I research. The follow-on Phase II effort will result in the design, assembly, rigorous testing, and delivery to NASA of a prototype system, sized to operate in conjunction with the NASA developed compaction system.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The NASA application will be as an adjunct to the Heat Melt Compaction System currently under development at NASA-ARC. The proposed system will treat gaseous byproducts which are created during the compaction process, and which otherwise would be vented into the cabin. This will ensure crew health and minimize any additional load on the Atmospheric Revitalization system.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The primary commercial application will be as catalysts and catalytic reactors for employment in pollution control and environmental remediation. The proposed research will result in the development of improved catalysts and methods for the destruction of toxic organic vapors. These may be used to eliminate carbon monoxide and organic discharges in industrial stack gases, to remove volatile organics from indoor air (i.e., sick building syndrome), and to decompose organics which are volatilized during pump & treat methods for removal of contaminants from groundwaters and hazardous waste sites.