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Center Innovation Fund: JSC CIF

Chemistry and Thermodynamics of Solid Waste Streams used in Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Systems

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

In spite of our best efforts to minimize the amount of disposable supplies (and the associated packaging) used during space missions, the accumulation of solid wastes is an inevitable consequence of mission activity. That waste will occupy precious cargo or living space within the habitat unless it is properly managed. Converting solid wastes to an energy source presents a potential solution to this problem. Waste-to-energy (WTE) presents a viable solution to this problem in that the solid wastes can be converted into an energy source for use during a mission. Because this fuel is generated using available resources, it significantly offsets the initial mission logistics requirements, and provides several operational benefits and opportunities. WTE also addresses several terrestrial challenges related to our energy needs, environmental conservation, and our need to more efficiently use land resources. This study will produce a detailed chemical and thermodynamic model of a deep-space exploration waste stream. The model will be used in designing technologies for WTE systems within the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) program and can also provide a starting point for commercial WTE systems.

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