NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-2 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)
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)
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: 4
End: 6

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)
The NASA SBIR Phase I project addressed the technical feasibility of an innovative torrefaction (mild pyrolysis) processing system that can be used to sterilize feces and produce a stable, odor-free solid product than can be easily stored or recycled, while simultaneously recovering moisture and producing small amounts of other useful products. The Phase I project demonstrated that mild heating (200-250 C) was adequate for torrefaction of a fecal simulant and other analogs of human solid waste (canine feces). The net result was a nearly undetectable odor, complete recovery of moisture, some additional water production, a modest reduction of the dry solid mass and the production of small amounts of gas (mainly CO2) and liquid (mainly water). The amount of solid vs gas plus liquid products can be controlled by adjusting the torrefaction conditions (final temperature, holding time). The solid product was a dry material that did not support microbial growth and was hydrophobic relative to the starting material. In the case of canine feces, the solid product was a mechanically friable material that could be easily compacted to a significantly smaller volume (~50%). In addition, the torrefaction method can be applied using the same or similar conditions to other types of wet solid wastes and is compatible with the Universal Waste Management System (UWMS), now under development by NASA. The torrefaction process could also be accomplished with minimal crew interactions and modest energy requirements, which could be improved even further in an optimized and innovative Phase II Torrefaction Processing Unit (TPU), which is the objective of the current proposal.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed approach will make it technically feasible to process human fecal waste and wet mixed waste streams 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 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, carbon/hydrogen storage, and fuel gas (CH4, CO, H2) production. In addition to its primary purpose to process fecal waste, torrefaction could potentially be beneficial for other types of wastes, including food wastes, wipes, clothing, and brine.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The goal of the Phase I project was to demonstrate that torrefaction processing of human fecal waste could be advantageous in a spacecraft or habitat environment. In the near term, the fecal waste processing component of the technology would also have applications to fecal 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 using fecal and related organic solid waste streams to produce biochar for soil amendments, soil remediation, polymer fillers, composite materials, carbon sequestration, solid waste disposal and resource recovery.

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)
Isolation/Protection/Radiation Shielding (see also Mechanical Systems)
Isolation/Protection/Shielding (Acoustic, Ballistic, Dust, Radiation, Thermal)
Resource Extraction
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)
Waste Storage/Treatment

Form Generated on 03-10-16 12:28