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SBIR/STTR

Low Temperature Trash Gasification Reactor, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Converting in-situ resources into propellants, energy storage reactants, or other useful products at the site of exploration, known as in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), instead of transporting these supplies from Earth can significantly reduce the cost and risk of human exploration while at the same time enabling new mission concepts and long term exploration sustainability. NASA needs innovative gasification reactors to convert trash into useful intermediate products such as carbon dioxide and water, which can ultimately be used to make methane and oxygen for propulsion and energy generation applications. Unfortunately, partial oxidation reactors and incinerators that might be used to reduce trash to useful products operate at high temperatures and also create ash, tar and other undesirable by-products. TDA Research has developed a low temperature (< 135 degrees C) ozone oxidation process that efficiently and cleanly converts trash into carbon dioxide and water. These intermediate products can then be delivered to a Sabatier reactor for the production of methane and oxygen. However, our reactor was designed for use on the moon or Mars whereas future spacecraft will need systems able to function in zero-g and micro-g environments. Therefore, TDA proposes to develop a trash gasification reactor that uses our ozone oxidation process and will work in the absence of gravity. In this project we will conduct the analysis and experiments to design the reactor. More »

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Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

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