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Technical Paper

Control of Solid Waste Using Low Temperature Oxidation

2006-07-17
2006-01-2187
A safe, effective means to control solid waste is a critical need on long-term space missions. With current waste models, 1300 kg of waste occupying a volume 20 m3 will be generated in a 180-day mission to Mars. Unprocessed waste poses a biological hazard to crew health and morale. The waste processing methods currently under consideration include incineration, microbial oxidation, pyrolysis and compaction. Although each has advantages, no single method has yet been developed that is safe, recovers valuable resources including oxygen and water, and has low energy and space requirements. Thus, the objective of this project was to develop a low temperature oxidation process to convert waste cleanly and rapidly to carbon dioxide and water. In this Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase I project, TDA Research Inc. (TDA) conducted tests to measure the rates of oxidation using ozone with five model waste components.
Technical Paper

Development of a Pilot Scale Apparatus for Control of Solid Waste Using Low Temperature Oxidation

2007-07-09
2007-01-3135
In February 2004 NASA released “The Vision for Space Exploration.” The important goals outlined in this document include extending human presence in the solar system culminating in the exploration of Mars. Unprocessed waste poses a biological hazard to crew health and morale. The waste processing methods currently under consideration include incineration, microbial oxidation, pyrolysis and compaction. Although each has advantages, no single method has yet been developed that is safe, recovers valuable resources including oxygen and water, and has low energy and space requirements. Thus, the objective of this project is to develop a low temperature oxidation process to convert waste cleanly and rapidly to carbon dioxide and water. In the Phase I project, TDA Research, Inc. demonstrated the potential of a low temperature oxidation process using ozone. In the current Phase II project, TDA and NASA Ames Research Center are developing a pilot scale low temperature ozone oxidation system.
Technical Paper

Development of a Pilot Scale Reactor for the Selective Oxidation of Ammonia to Nitrogen and Water

2004-07-19
2004-01-2406
As manned spacecraft travel farther from Earth, the cost of delivering the payloads to space increases dramatically. For example the cost of delivering a payload to low Earth orbit currently is about $10,000/lb. On the other hand the cost of delivering a payload to Mars may be up to 40 times greater and therefore missions to deep space place a strong emphasis on reducing launch weight and eliminating resupply requirements. The Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) system, which is being developed to purify water, is an example of this focus. In addition to having a lower launch weight than the Water Recycle System (WRS) currently used on the International Space Station, it also has no resupply requirements. A key step in the VPCAR system is the catalytic oxidation of ammonia and volatile hydrocarbons to benign compounds such as carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen. Currently platinum-based commercial oxidation catalysts are being used for these reactions.
Technical Paper

Results of VPCAR Pilot Scale and System Level Tests for the Selective Oxidation of Ammonia to Nitrogen and Water

2005-07-11
2005-01-3034
The cost of delivering the payloads to space increases dramatically with distance and therefore missions to deep space place a strong emphasis on reducing launch weight and eliminating resupply requirements. The Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) system, which is being developed for water purification, is an example of this focus because it has no resupply requirements. A key step in the VPCAR system is the catalytic oxidation of ammonia and volatile hydrocarbons to benign compounds such as carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen. Currently, platinum-based commercial oxidation catalysts are being used for these reactions. However, conventional platinum catalysts can convert ammonia (NH3) to NO and NO2 (collectively referred to as NOX), which are more hazardous than ammonia.
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