Supercritical Water Oxidation: Concept Analysis for Evolutionary Space Station Application 860993
A supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) concept was evaluated to determine its potential to reduce the number of processes required to provide an Environmental Control and Life Support System in an Evolutionary Space Station, to reduce the Station resupply requirements, and to enhance the integration of separate ECLSS functions into a single Supercritical Water Oxidation process. Three conceptual design cases were evaluated. The results indicated that the SCWO technology was not a viable substitute for the IOC Space Station ECLSS, because the technology was not sufficiently mature to meet the 1987 Space Station design commitment date. For an Evolutionary Space Station, the SCWO process could enhance the integration of eight ECLSS functions into a single function, thereby reducing programmatic costs. The SCWO technology combined with current onboard food production technology was not a viable option to replace stored food, because food production technology was inefficient. The integration of the SCWO process into the ECLSS must be preceded by the demonstration that the process can be operated safely at its design temperature (650° C) and pressure (250 atmospheres).