Gateway to Space 2020 has ended
“As long as we are a single-planet species, we are vulnerable to extinction by a planet-wide catastrophe, natural or self-induced. Once we become a multi-planet species, our chances to live long and prosper will take a huge leap skyward.”  – David Grinspoon

This event is free but to attend you must register via Zoom in advance:
Each person will receive a Zoom link for the event.

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Saturday, December 12 • 11:20am - 12:20pm
Dealing with the Brown Matter: Going from Excrement to Entrée
 Often the details of dealing with human waste, and turning it into food and clean water are ignored. Most space research to date has either focused on waste recycling in microgravity to extract water, and expel the rest, or focused on the food growth side, in hydroponic gardens and photobioreactors. These disparate ends ignore the details in the middle, i.e. what turns urine, feces, food waste, and other waste types into nutrients for plant growth, clean water, and clean air. What sizes and trades are required for the tanks, pumps, pipes, sceptic systems, incinerators, or bioreactors, to recycle wastes into the inputs for both agriculture and human use. How does this change in low gravity areas like the Moon or Mars? What are timeframes for chemical conversions required, and practical concerns? This paper will cover the masses and chemistry of wastes, existing real world methods, machines and structures, and time required to digest the wastes, and mediation methods to close the mass flow loop to limit resupply, for settlements of various durations and sizes, from small scientific outposts, to village sized long term settlements. Will include sizing of tanks and pumps, energy requirements, biological and non-biological options and tradeoffs, directions for needed research. The messy details matter, and this paper will expose the gap of going from excrement to entrée and provide solutions to get menus from manure in space.

avatar for Bryce L. Meyer

Bryce L. Meyer

Board Member - Treasurer, National Space Society - St. Louis Space Frontier
Bryce L. Meyer, has degrees in engineering and biology, experience working on real farms, and many technical publications on space agriculture and ECLSS. He also has written and illustrated children's books on STEM topics, including space settlement, and is very active in space advocacy... Read More →

Saturday December 12, 2020 11:20am - 12:20pm CST