Catalytic Gasification as a Waste Management and In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Alternative
The efficient use of material sent into space is a concern for all missions. Catalytic reactions can be used to convert polymer (plastic) waste into combustion products. These gases can be compressed or vented to vacuum which reduces or eliminates storage space needs for the trash. In addition, secondary reactions can further convert products to methane which can be used as a fuel source, and hydrogen which is a common rocket propellant. Using a Gas Chromatography machine, the composition of affluent gas following experimental catalytic reactions can be measured. This composition allows the calculation of how much waste was gasified. Repeat experimental reactions under different conditions provide data for the dependency on temperature and reaction length. This study aims to find the most suitable reaction parameters for efficient gasification when the process is scaled up. It also aims to modify the reaction from a batch process to a continuous process.
Reeves, Stephen A.; Adhikari, Shreya; Cmar, Joshua; and Gatica, Jorge E. Ph.D., "Catalytic Gasification as a Waste Management and In-Situ
Resource Utilization (ISRU) Alternative" (2013). Undergraduate Research Posters 2013. 36.