Control of Solid Waste Using Low Temperature Oxidation
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.