Magnetically Assisted Gasification of Solid Waste 1999-01-2183
A variety of techniques, including supercritical water oxidation, fluidized bed combustion, and microwave incineration have been applied to the destruction of solid wastes produced in regenerative life support systems supporting long duration manned missions. Among potential problems which still deserve attention are the need for operation in a variety of gravitational environments, and the requirement for improved methods of presenting concentrated solids to the reactor. Significant improvements in these areas are made possible through employment of the magnetically assisted gasification process. In this paper, magnetic methods are described for manipulating the degree of consolidation or fluidization of granular ferromagnetic media, for application in a gravity independent three step solid waste destruction process. Solids are first concentrated from an aqueous slurry using a depth filter in which the particles of filtration media are stratified according to size and consolidated for maximum filtration efficiency using magnetic forces. The organic material within the entrapped solids is destroyed by a combination of pyrolysis, isomerization, and oxidation reactions in a fluidized bed reactor. Finally, inorganic solids are removed by reverse-flow fluidization and collected on a downstream filter.