Waste management technology and the drivers for space missions

John W. Fisher, John A. Hogan, Lance Delzeit, Travis Liggett, Kanapathipillai Wignarajah, Ric Alba, Eric Litwiller, Gregory Pace, Thomas G. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Since the mid 1980s, NASA has developed advanced waste management technologies that collect and process waste. These technologies include incineration, hydrothermal oxidation, pyrolysis, electrochemical oxidation, activated carbon production, brine dewatering, slurry bioreactor oxidation, composting, NOx control, compaction, and waste collection. Some of these technologies recover resources such as water, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon, fuels, and nutrients. Other technologies such as the Waste Collection System (WCS - the commode) collect waste for storage or processing. The need for waste processing varies greatly depending upon the mission scenario. This paper reviews the waste management technology development activities conducted by NASA since the mid 1980s and explores the drivers that determine the application of these technologies to future missions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-227
Number of pages21
JournalSAE International Journal of Aerospace
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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