Browse Publications Technical Papers 2003-01-2374

Development of Enabling Technologies for Magnetically Assisted Gasification of Solid Wastes 2003-01-2374

Magnetically Assisted Gasification (MAG) is a relatively new concept for the destruction of solid wastes aboard spacecraft, lunar and planetary habitations. Three sequential steps are used to convert the organic constituents of waste materials into useful gases: filtration, gasification, and ash removal. In the filtration step, an aqueous suspension of comminuted waste is separated and concentrated using a magnetically consolidated depth filter composed of granular ferromagnetic media. Once the filter is fully loaded, the entrapped solids are thermochemically gasified via a variety of mechanisms including pyrolysis, isomerization, and oxidation reactions. Finally, the inorganic ash residue is removed from the magnetic media by fluidization and trapped downstream by filtration. Importantly, for each of these steps, the degree of consolidation or fluidization of the granular ferromagnetic media is controlled using magnetic forces. This makes possible the application of the MAG technology in a variety of gravitational environments, including microgravity, hypogravity, and 1 g. In this paper we summarize the development of Gradient Magnetically Assisted Filtration and Fluidization methods which are essential components of the MAG process. Numerical models representing filtration and fluidization phenomena are described. The results of both laboratory and μg flight experiments are presented and compared to the outcomes predicted by the mathematical models.


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