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Technical Paper

Incineration of Inedible Biomass in a Regenerative Life Support System - Update of Development Activities at ARC

Of the many competing technologies for resource recovery from solid wastes for long duration manned missions such as a lunar or Mars base, incineration technology is one of the most promising and certainly the most well developed in a terrestrial sense. Various factors are involved in the design of an optimum fluidized bed incinerator for inedible biomass. The factors include variability of moisture in the biomass, the ash content, and the amount of fuel nitrogen in the biomass. The crop mixture in the waste will vary; consequently the nature of the waste, the nitrogen content, and the biomass heating values will vary as well. Variation in feed will result in variation in the amount of contaminants such as nitrogen oxides that are produced in the combustion part of the incinerator. The incinerator must be robust enough to handle this variability. Research at NASA Ames Research Center using the fluidized bed incinerator has yielded valuable data on system parameters and variables.
Technical Paper

Development of a Temperature-Swing Adsorption Compressor for Carbon Dioxide

A closed-loop air revitalization system requires continuous removal of CO2 from the breathing air and an oxygen recovery system to recover oxygen from the waste CO2. Production of oxygen from CO2 is typically achieved by reacting CO2 with hydrogen in a reduction unit such as a Sabatier reactor. The air revitalization system of International Space Station (ISS) currently operates on an open loop mode where CO2 is being vented into the space vacuum due to lack of a Sabatier Reactor. A compressor and a storage device are required to interface the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) and the Sabatier reactor. This compressor must acquire the low-pressure CO2 from CDRA and provide it at a high enough pressure to the Sabatier reactor. The compressor should ensure independent operations of CDRA and Sabatier reactor at all times, even when their operating schedules are not synchronized.