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Center Innovation Fund: KSC CIF

Demonstration of Plasma Assisted Waste Conversion to Gas

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

Demonstration of Plasma Assisted Waste Conversion to Gas
The goal is to demonstrate high fidelity mission waste simulant conversion with a proprietary DC plasma torch, a different approach from industry which uses higher powers not acceptable on the smaller scale of space missions. The baseline carrier gas will be 100% air, then the feasibility of alternate carrier gases (CO2, N2, and hydrocarbon product gas recirculation) will be evaluated. A CO2 carrier gas is ideal since it is a byproduct of human metabolic activity (available on ISS), and 95% of the Mars atmosphere. A semi-closed loop system could be achieved if the product gases produced by the trash conversion itself could be used as a carrier gas. As this this technology advances it would eventually be infused into future AES projects. The next steps would be to demonstrate up to three down-selected technologies in the combustion integration rack for microgravity experiments on board the ISS, and then build a flight unit for converting mission waste into gas to reduce volume, odor, and provide sterilization of waste. More »

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Technology Maturity (TRL)

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