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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Torrefaction Processing of Human Fecal Waste

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Torrefaction Processing of Human Fecal Waste
New technology is needed to collect, stabilize, safen, recover useful materials, and store human fecal waste for long duration missions. The current SBIR Phase I proposal will examine an innovative torrefaction (mild pyrolysis) processing system that can be used to sterilize feces and produce a stable, free flowing powder than can be easily stored or recycled, while simultaneously recovering all of the moisture and producing minimal amounts of other gases. The system will also require minimal crew interactions, low energy demands, and tolerate mixed or contaminated waste streams. The objective of the Phase I study is to demonstrate the feasibility of this improved process using bench scale experiments. This will be accomplished in three tasks: 1) design and construct bench scale processing unit that can accommodate different modes of heating (conventional, microwave, radiant/solar); 2) laboratory and modeling studies on a fecal simulant over a range of process conditions (temperature, holding time, atmosphere); 3) evaluation of laboratory results and preliminary design of Phase II prototype. More »

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