MAGNETICALLY ASSISTED GASIFICATION (MAG)
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Simulations & Models
MAGNETIC METHODS FOR MICROGRAVITY AND HYPOGRAVITY COMPATIBLE SOLID WASTE TREATMENT AND RESOURCE RECOVERY IN SUPPORT OF LONG DURATION MANNED MISSIONS IN SPACE
- A joint effort between
UMPQUA Research Company and the Chemical Engineering Department of Oregon
State University, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
However, the need to minimize stowage and the penalty associated with increased launch weight makes this impractical for longer duration missions. For near earth habitations such as the International Space Station or the former Space Station Mir, food can be resupplied using either American or Russian vehicles. Even at this distance from Earth, the resupply of water is very expensive; thus it is advantageous to incorporate water recycling into ECLSS operations.
For future very long duration manned missions, such as Mars Transit, Mars Base, or Lunar Outpost, the Life Support requirements are much more difficult to achieve. This falls within the domain of the Advanced Life Support (ALS) community, which is actively engaged in the development of new and improved systems for Atmospheric Revitalization, Water Recovery & Purification, Food Production, Solid Waste Managment and Resource Recovery.
Our Magnetically Assisted Gasification (MAG) Project focuses on the development of methods for the decomposition of solid waste materials into benign and potentially useful by-products, using magnetic forces to compensate for the absence of gravity. While much work has been done by other ALS research groups toward the decomposition of solid wastes using both biological and physico-chemical techniques, very little has been done in the realm of microgravity and hypogravity (low gravity) compatible methods. While the current thrust of our work is aimed toward solid waste treatment, it is anticipated that the magnetic control methods which result from this work may also be employed in a variety of other ALS, In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), and Materials Science applications in microgravity.