NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 H20.01-9428
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Solid and Liquid Waste Management for Human Spacecraft
PROPOSAL TITLE: Torrefaction Processing for Human Solid Waste Management

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Advanced Fuel Research, Inc.
87 Church Street
East Hartford, CT 06108 - 3720
(860) 528-9806

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Michael A. Serio
87 Church Street
East Hartford, CT 06108 - 3720
(860) 528-9806 Extension :105

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Michael A. Serio
87 Church Street
East Hartford, CT 06108 - 3720
(860) 528-9806 Extension :105

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Solid and Liquid Waste Management for Human Spacecraft is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
New technology is needed to collect, stabilize, recover useful materials, and store human fecal waste for long duration missions, both for crew safety, comfort and resource requirements and planetary protection. The proposed SBIR Phase I project addresses an innovative torrefaction (mild pyrolysis) processing approach that can be used to sterilize feces, control odor, and produce a stable, free flowing powder that can be easily stored or recycled, while simultaneously recovering all of the moisture, producing additional water, and only small amounts of other gases (CO2, CO, CH4) and liquids. The overall objective of the Phase I program is to demonstrate the feasibility of a near full (1/3) scale integrated Waste Collection/Torrefaction (WC/T) unit for fecal waste streams. The Phase I work will be accomplished in three tasks: 1) test unit design and construction; 2) laboratory testing on relevant waste streams; 3) evaluation and preliminary Phase II prototype design. This work plan will address the key questions about the WC/T unit feasibility for the application to human fecal waste and related solid waste streams. In addition, the torrefaction method can be applied using the same or similar conditions to other types of wet or dry cellulosic biomass (food, paper, wipes, clothing) which provides for some desirable redundancy in the waste management system. The Phase II prototype will be compatible with the Universal Waste Management System (UWMS) and complementary to the Heat Melt Compactor (HMC), both now under development by NASA. The torrefaction process can also be accomplished with minimal crew interactions, modest energy requirements and will be able to tolerate mixed or contaminated waste streams.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed approach will make it technically feasible to process human fecal waste and related mixed waste streams, recover moisture, and produce additional water and other useful products in space which will benefit long term space travel, such as an extended Lunar stay or a mission to Mars and Asteroids/Phobos. It is beneficial to NASA in also allowing for solid waste sterilization and stabilization, planetary protection, in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) and/or production of chemical feedstocks and carbon materials. In particular, the solid carbon-rich residue has several potential applications in space. These include production of activated carbon, a nutrient-rich substrate for plant growth, as a filler for polymers and composites, radiation shielding, C-H-O storage, and fuel gas (CH4, CO, H2) production.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In the near term, the fecal waste processing component of the technology would also have applications to fecal waste resource recovery and/or sterilization/stabilization problems in remote areas such as underdeveloped countries, arctic regions, military operations, 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 modified and integrated with widespread terrestrial efforts to process fecal and related solid waste streams for resource recovery and biochar production. Biochar is currently being used for soil amendments, soil remediation, polymer fillers, composite materials, and carbon sequestration.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Essential Life Resources (Oxygen, Water, Nutrients)
In Situ Manufacturing
Isolation/Protection/Radiation Shielding (see also Mechanical Systems)
Isolation/Protection/Shielding (Acoustic, Ballistic, Dust, Radiation, Thermal)
Processing Methods
Resource Extraction
Waste Storage/Treatment

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37