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Center Innovation Fund: KSC CIF

Micro-scale Plasma Arc Gasification for Waste Treatment and Energy Production (MPG)

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

As NASA continues to develop technology for spaceflight beyond low earth orbit, we must develop the right systems for sustaining human life on a long duration or planetary mission.  Plasma arc gasification (PAG) is an energy efficient mechanism of waste management for power generation and synthetic gas (syngas) production.

Syngas can be chemically manipulated to create desired gases such as oxygen and methane on long duration missions from mission waste.  Syngas can also be used directly to power small thruster engines for propulsion. PAG is a high temperature, high frequency and low volume gas emission system that dissociates organic compounds in a cleaner fashion when compared to current gasification and incineration processes utilized on Earth. PAG has only been used on large scale municipal waste systems and in this project we will demonstrate the feasibility of a micro-scale system to other waste proAs NASA continues to develop technology for spaceflight beyond low earth orbit, we must develop the right systems for sustaining human life on a long duration or planetary mission.  Plasma arc gasification  (PAG) is an energy efficient mechanism of waste management for power generation and synthetic gas (syngas) production. Syngas can be chemically manipulated to create desired gases such as oxygen and methane on long duration missions from mission waste. Syngas can also be used directly to power small thruster engines for propulsion. PAG is a high temperature, high frequency and low volume gas emission system that dissociates organic compounds in a cleaner fashion when compared to current gasification and incineration processes utilized on Earth. PAG has only been used on large scale municipal waste systems and in this project we will demonstrate the feasibility of a micro-scale system to other waste processing technologies to see if the power, mass and volume is comparable for volume reduction and energy production.

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