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Yudi Chen, Carnegie Mellon University Catherine Groschner, Carnegie Mellon University Brent Heard, Carnegie Mellon University Avisha Shah, University of.

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Presentation on theme: "Yudi Chen, Carnegie Mellon University Catherine Groschner, Carnegie Mellon University Brent Heard, Carnegie Mellon University Avisha Shah, University of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Yudi Chen, Carnegie Mellon University Catherine Groschner, Carnegie Mellon University Brent Heard, Carnegie Mellon University Avisha Shah, University of Pennsylvania Matthew Vernacchia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2 Linear Nutrient Flow Food Storage Waste Storage Crew O2 CO2

3 Cyclic Nutrient Flow

4 Current Solutions  Sequential Batch Anaerobic Composting (SEBAC)  Anaerobic system → CH4, not food  Research Space Bioconverter (RSB)  Mainly for food waste  NASA JSC’s BIO-Plex  Food storage and growth research  ESA’s Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative (MELISSA)

5 Critical Tasks  Food Crop Selection  Composting Process Selection  Proof-of-Concept  Rate Balancing  Microgravity Gas Exchange  Automation  Verification

6 Food Crop - Production  Algae advantages over macroscopic plants  Whole biomass edible  No waste from stems, etc  less harvesting machinery  Grow in Liquid Media  Simpler growth chamber: bioreactor tank vs. complex hydroponic farm  Easier process automation

7 Food Crop - Nutrition  Of algae evaluated, Spirulina Platensis shows best nutritional properties  Spirulina has soy-like nutritional properties  Spirulina is a staple crop for several tribes around Lake Chad, and was for the Aztecs (Ciferri 1983)  Carb : protein balance alterable via changes in growing conditions (Tadros 1988)  UN FAO meta-study:  Rich in protein, vitamins (Becker 1994) and iron (Henrikson 1989)  Immune system resilience to radiation (Academy of Chinese Military Medical Sciences)

8 Food Crop - Preparation  Fresh foods + packaged garnishes/ flavorings  Allow astronauts to process the Spirulina into a variety of food products  Tofu  Soy-like milk  Flour for tortillas, noodles and bread

9 Composting Process  Spirulina can grow in aerated swine waste (Canizares and Dominquez 1993)  Process:  Liquefaction  Aerobic stabilization  Thermophilic stage (60C) reduces pathogens  Sterilization by UV irradiation  Lower complexity than MELISSA’s anaerobic and nitrogen fixation process.  Carbon:nitrogen ratio = most important parameter

10 Proof of Concept  Procedure  Feces, urine, food waste and paper, in ratio matching NASA effluents report  Mechanical liquefaction  Aeration in 1L bioreactors (35 days)  UV irradiation + 10 min at 100C  Dilution  Used as Spirulina growth media in 1L bioreactors  Compare composting performance at C:N ratios and concentrations  Gather metabolic rate data

11 Proof of Concept 10:1 dilution 50:1 dilution 25:1 dilution

12 Rate Balancing O2 produced by algae = O2 consumed by compost + O2 consumed by crew CO2 consumed by algae = CO2 produced by compost + CO2 produced by crew Compost mass = (waste produced/time)*(retention time) Algae mass =(food needed/time) / (growth rate)

13 Rate Balancing

14

15  Assuming  Algae produces 15 g O2 /day/kg algae media  Compost consumes 15 g O2 / kg compost slurry /day  3 week waste composting  6 person crew  75% of diet is grown  ~290 kg compost slurry  >530 kg algae media to provide food  ~620 kg algae media to balance O2

16 Microgravity Gas Exchange  Need to move gases into and out of liquid media  Normally done by sparing – this will not work in microgravity

17 Membrane Gas Exchange (MGE)

18 Centrifugal Gas Exchange (CGE)

19 CGE/MGE Bioreactor 10L capacity Rotating growth chamber, up to 500rpm for CGE Electrical connections for sensors, heating and lighting on rotor

20 Under Development

21 Future Work

22 Microgravity CGE/MGE  Pursue experiments on parabolic flight aircraft  NASA’s Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program

23 Biological tests in CGE/MGE Bioreactor Investigate:  Algae and compost metabolisms with new gas exchange system  Impact of biomass on gas exchange effectiveness

24 Closed system  Components:  Compost bioreactor (x1)  Algae bioreactors (x2)  Crew simulant (i.e. mice)  Confirm rate balances  Investigate automation methods

25 Automation

26 Waste Input

27 Composting

28 Algae growth

29 Material Transfer

30 Alternative Product Applications Remote Locations Oil Rigs / Submarines Third World

31 Extensive Ground Proving

32 Acknowledgements This research was funded by a Conrad Foundation Spirit of Innovation Award

33 References  Alazraki, Micheal, John Fisher, Jitendra Joshi, and Charles Verostko.“Solids Waste Processing and Resource Recovery for Long-Duration Missions – A Workshop.”NASA and Society of Automotive Engineers,  Belkin, Shimshon, Sammy Boussiba. “Resistance of Spirulinaplatensis to Ammonia at High pH Values.”Plant and Cell Physiology 32.7 (1991): Oxford Journals.Web. 23 Mar  Chiou, Shiow-Her, Chao-Min Wang, Ching-Lin Shyu, Shu-Peng Ho. “Species Diversity and Substrate Utilization Patterns of Thermophilic Bacterial Communities in Hot Aerobic Poultry and Cattle Manure Composts.” Microbial Ecology 54.1 (2007): 1-9. JSTOR.Web. 23 Mar  Durbin, Drew. “Batch Composting of Human Excrement With Urban Waste Products.” Center for Environmental Studies. Brown University, May Web. 23 Mar  Ergas, Sarina J., Amit Kumar, Ashish K. Sahu, Xin Yuan. “Impact of Ammonia Concentration on Spirulinaplatensis Growth in an Airlift Photobioreactor.”Bioresource Technology (2011): ScienceDirect.Web. 23 Mar  Feng, Dao-Iun, Zu-cheng Wu. “Culture of Spirulinaplatensisin Human Urine For Biomass Production and O2 Evolution.” Journal of Zhejiang University Science 7.1 (2006): PubMed Central.Web. 23 Mar  Haug, Roger T. “Engineering Principles of Sludge Composting.” Journal (Water Pollution Control Federation) 51.8 (1979): JSTOR.Web. 23 Mar  Hirrel, Suzanne Smith, Tom Riley. “Understanding the Composting Process.” Uaex.University of Arkansas, n.d. Web. 23 Mar  “The Science and Engineering of Composting.”Cornell Composting.Cornell University, 1996.Web. 21 Dec

34 ? Questions?


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