New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: As a reader of NewMars forum, we have opportunities for you to assist with technical discussions in several initiatives underway. NewMars needs volunteers with appropriate education, skills, talent, motivation and generosity of spirit as a highly valued member. Write to newmarsmember * gmail.com to tell us about your ability's to help contribute to NewMars and become a registered member.

#26 2007-01-17 16:34:31

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,012

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

A living plant doesn't require as much maintenance as a mechanical plant for generating oxygen does. Somebody has to be on hand to repair the airplant whenever it breaks down and the necessary spare parts must be available to keep it in operation for the entire duration of the Mission, this has happened on the ISS and on the Mir. Spare parts and repair crews can't be flown to the Mars base as often as they can be to the ISS. Living Plants, on the other hand, continue to grow and produce oxygen so long as the right environment is provided for them.

You'd better hope not. 

A big part of many proposed mars expeditions (Mars Direct, etc.) is an autonomous oxygen production plant for in situ production of life support supplies and propellant.  If what you've just claimed is true, you may kiss autonomous ISRU goodbye. 

Living plants are desirable because of their ability to produce food.  That is the only thing they do that can't be imitated by mechanical systems.


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

Offline

#27 2007-01-17 16:37:23

RedStreak
Banned
From: Illinois
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 541

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

Living plants are desirable because of their ability to produce food.  That is the only thing they do that can't be imitated by mechanical systems.

Heh...brings to mind a funny image *Homestar Running eating a sanwhich loaded with lightbulbs*  tongue

Offline

#28 2016-01-03 22:28:08

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

Bump as it relates to soil build up and getting a foot hold on Mars....

Offline

#29 2018-06-10 19:38:59

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

The packaging from the meals can also be recycle to be able to create what we need as well. Have been doing a bit of research into the thermoplastic recycling.
You can ignore the title as there are pdf links within the reading of Use of Recycled Plastics in Cars is Shifting into Overdrive
The different plastics have different recipes, it takes roughly 0.4 gallons of crude oil to make 1 pound of plastic and thats got to come from CO2 and H2O processing which is energy that unless we have unlimited is at a cost to something else.
Lessening the energy required, materials processing, staging of mission materials as a function of reduced of other items of equal need to and abilities to survive does not make sense.

Offline

#30 2018-12-16 20:50:20

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

I got thinking about the issue of Co2 concentration for making fuels for mars and wondered if the plastic waste, paper and other such materials that we make use of on the way to mars and even on its surface could be utilized for seeding the fuel manufacturing process.
In essence converting the plastic back into co2 for reuse. The process is known as anhydrous pyrolysis, and despite how simple it looks, it's unfortunately not considered very effective because it uses up a lot more energy than it creates but we do not care if we gain on less energy use to get co2.

Many plastic products today are made from a polymer called polyethylene terephthalate (PET), also known as polyester is made from two components, terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol.

What Is the Carbon Footprint of a Plastic Bottle?

The manufacture of one pound of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic can produce up to three pounds of carbon dioxide. Processing plastic resins and transporting plastic bottles contribute to a bottle's carbon footprint in a major way. Estimates show that one 500-milliliter (0.53 quarts) plastic bottle of water has a total carbon footprint equal to 82.8 grams (about 3 ounces) of carbon dioxide.

Then we can also use plant materials that are not eaten to gain some more.
Scientists make renewable plastic from carbon dioxide and plants

Pyrolysis works by thermochemically breaking down a material at temperatures above 350 degrees Celsius in the absence of water. This not only physically melt down an object, but also changes its chemical composition so that, in the case of plastic waste, it reverts back into boiling liquid and eventually gas.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrolysis

So we can use solar concentrated heat on the working chamber to carry on the making of co2 from left over plastics and paper.

http://wmich.edu/mfe/mrc/greenmanufactu … Review.pdf

Offline

#31 2018-12-16 22:04:18

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Offline

#32 2018-12-18 05:08:30

elderflower
Member
Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,262

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

Well Spacenut. you have identified a possibly valuable source of carbon compounds for the moon and other airless bodies. I doubt that pyrolysis to CO or CO2 would be useful on Mars as it is not too difficult to capture CO2 from the Atmosphere.

Offline

#33 2018-12-18 20:41:07

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

The difficulty for mars is the energy required and it is not small....

But if we do use Pyrolysis on mars its already at 1 atmophere content for use, add to that the scrubbing of the area that man resides in and we are lots closer to being able to fuel our crafts on mars.

Offline

#34 2019-01-03 21:31:51

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

This may be the key to making use of the lunar water and our own waste stream to make the missions to the moon a recoverable design.

https://www.ecowatch.com/how-we-can-tur … 44770.html

Pyrolysis is a method of heating, which decomposes organic materials at temperatures between 400℃ and 650℃, in an environment with limited oxygen. Pyrolysis is normally used to generate energy in the form of heat, electricity or fuels, but it could be even more beneficial if cold plasma was incorporated into the process, to help recover other chemicals and materials.

Cold plasma pyrolysis makes it possible to convert waste plastics into hydrogen, methane and ethylene. Both hydrogen and methane can be used as clean fuels, since they only produce minimal amounts of harmful compounds such as soot, unburnt hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide (CO₂). And ethylene is the basic building block of most plastics used around the world today.

55 times more ethylene was recovered from [high density polyethylene (HDPE)]—which is used to produce everyday objects such as plastic bottles and piping—using cold plasma, compared to conventional pyrolysis. About 24 percent of plastic weight was converted from HDPE directly into valuable products.

Plasma technologies have been used to deal with hazardous waste in the past, but the process occurs at very high temperatures of more than 3,000°C, and therefore requires a complex and energy intensive cooling system. The process for cold plasma pyrolysis that we investigated operates at just 500°C to 600°C by combining conventional heating and cold plasma, which means the process requires relatively much less energy.

If we do not do this we will end up with this on the moon...

howwecanturn.jpg

https://plastics.americanchemistry.com/Plastics-to-Oil/
Plastics-to-Oil: Conversion Technology—A Complement to ...

Offline

#35 2019-01-04 04:14:31

Terraformer
Member
From: Ceres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,560
Website

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

I don't think Selenites would let all that valuable carbon just sit there and go to waste...


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

Offline

#36 2019-01-04 04:17:17

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 6,228

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

All that stuff is still good material that can and should be separated and recycled.  Maybe it's a pain in the rear end, but it needs to be done to maintain stocks of on-hand material.

Offline

#37 2019-01-04 05:04:50

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,343
Website

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

Plastic recycling: used plastic can only be directly reused so much. Pop bottles are at most 10% recycled plastic. The reason is used plastic becomes degraded, especially after exposure to UV light. When clear plastic becomes yellow, that means it has suffered polymer scission and cross-bonding. Scission means the molecules have been broken, as if they were cut by scissors. Cross-bonding means separate molecules form a bond, linking themselves together to effectively form a larger molecule. When these two things happen, plastic becomes hard and brittle. That means it loses strength, so can't handle pressure of pop and being jostled and dropped such as bringing groceries home from the store.

One simple option is thermal depolymerization. That means to heat it without oxygen. 85% of plastic breaks down into oil and natural gas. The rest is lost as CO2 and water, essentially the fuel that drives the process. That oil and natural gas can be built back up into plastic, using the same process to make plastic from oil pumped from the ground. After all, oil is oil; it doesn't matter if the oil comes from the ground or from decomposing old plastic. New plastic made this way will literally be new plastic. It will not have any polymer scission or cross-bonding, because you decomposed the plastic into oil, then made new plastic from that oil.

Offline

#38 2019-01-04 06:00:43

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 6,228

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

Robert,

Thanks for the education on plastic degradation.  All I'm saying is that we should collect it and reuse it, whatever that entails.

Offline

#39 2019-01-04 19:21:07

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

Yes thanks Robert as you now have a resource that we would not have without dumping tons of energy into doing for the oil, the other gasses and CO2 to which we can make into fuels for use.

Offline

#40 2019-05-02 10:59:15

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

I meantion earth day in passing with regards to how we might make use of it on mars as we would not want a planet that is a trash heap in the near future for mars.
Thou here we are doing just that on a place that man should do more to keep it clean for others.
Mount Everest tackles 60,000-pound trash problem with campaign to clean up waste

5,200 men and women have climbed to the peak of the world's highest mountain, but you don’t need a map to get to the Everest base camp, just follow the trash.

mount-everest-hikers-ap-mo-20190502_hpMain_4x3_992.jpg

Found it interesting that April 14, New Year's Day on the Nepalese calendar.

They have sent teams of volunteers to pick up an estimated 6,600 pounds, most of it simple trash or human waste. But more than a ton of non-biodegradable waste -- oxygen canisters, torn-up tents, plastics and left-over mountaineering gear.

mt-everest-trash-ap-mo-20190502_hpMain_4x3_992.jpg

Offline

#41 2019-09-02 15:23:44

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

Related topic Sewage treatment

Offline

#42 2020-01-11 12:24:24

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

Kennedy chemical engineer, Annie Meier is part of a team developing a technology that could turn ordinary debris and other garbage accumulated by a crew of astronauts into valuable resources.

"There is food waste, there is biological waste, there is packaging waste," she said. "Here at Kennedy, we're working on how to make this waste into useful products, such as methane for fuel."

The trash reactor being tested at Kennedy can hold more than three quarts of material and burns at about 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, about twice the maximum temperature of an average household oven. The end result is useful elements.

Experiments have shown that 10 pounds of trash could be converted into seven pounds of rocket fuel. Other valuable byproducts of the trash reactor include oxygen and water.

Making about two pounds of fuel on Mars saves about 500 pounds launching it from Earth to get it to the Red Planet.

Offline

#43 2020-01-11 14:49:04

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

Interesting. Could certainly be very relevant once you have say 1000 people generating maybe 1000 pounds of waste per year each - could be converting into 700,000 pounds of methane per annum or 350 tons - more than enough methane for one return flight.

SpaceNut wrote:

Kennedy chemical engineer, Annie Meier is part of a team developing a technology that could turn ordinary debris and other garbage accumulated by a crew of astronauts into valuable resources.

"There is food waste, there is biological waste, there is packaging waste," she said. "Here at Kennedy, we're working on how to make this waste into useful products, such as methane for fuel."

The trash reactor being tested at Kennedy can hold more than three quarts of material and burns at about 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, about twice the maximum temperature of an average household oven. The end result is useful elements.

Experiments have shown that 10 pounds of trash could be converted into seven pounds of rocket fuel. Other valuable byproducts of the trash reactor include oxygen and water.

Making about two pounds of fuel on Mars saves about 500 pounds launching it from Earth to get it to the Red Planet.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#44 2020-01-11 16:47:01

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-seeks … e-missions
NASA Seeks New Ways to Handle Trash for Deep Space Missions

Life aboard the International Space Station requires extreme measures in efficiency to preserve resources, reduce waste, repurpose materials, and recycle water and breathable air. Regular cargo resupply missions deliver approximately 12 metric tons of supplies each year, which can lead to significant storage challenges aboard the orbiting laboratory. When trash accumulates, astronauts manually squeeze it into trash bags, temporarily storing almost two metric tons of it for relatively short durations, and then send it away in a departing commercial supply vehicle, which either returns it to Earth or incinerates it during reentry through the atmosphere.

NASA has been developing waste management systems since the 1980s, including recent developments such as the Heat Melt Compactor and “trash to gas” technologies.

7ZphcAu9vqKTNHHR5tTw6e-970-80.jpg

On the space station, astronauts currently squeeze their garbage into trash bags and, for temporary periods of time, store up to 2 metric tons of trash on board. They then send the trash out on commercial supply vehicles, which either reach Earth or burn up in reentry.

Researchers have even developed trash-compacting technology that could help astronauts turn trash into a space radiation shield.
https://www.space.com/19111-astronaut-t … hield.html

Offline

#45 2022-04-09 16:06:27

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

bump

Offline

#46 2022-05-14 20:16:56

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

Finally earthlings do what will be required on Mars Burning waste to make energy: How Amazon, American Airlines and Subaru are trying to get out of landfills

The energy recovery facility run by New Jersey-based Covanta harnesses steam to make enough electricity to power 18,000 homes in the area. A portion of the waste comes from companies including American Airlines, Quest Diagnostics, Sunny Delight and Subaru. About 10% of the 270,000 tons of waste Covanta burns at its plant in Crows Landing, California, a two-hour drive east from San Francisco, comes from companies. The rest mostly comes from waste collection in nearby municipalities.

While landfills can harness energy from rotting organic material, they're far less efficient for production purposes. Landfill gas generates enough power for 810,000 U.S. homes per year, compared to 2.3 million homes powered by far fewer waste-to-energy facilities.

Offline

#47 2022-05-20 13:39:37

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 4,782

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

Ship Designed to Collect Ocean Plastic and Convert It to Clean Hydrogen

http://maritimeglobalnews.com/news/desi … tic-esq2bf

Offline

#48 2022-05-20 16:53:54

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

With all of the plastics that we generate we could take them and create a high carbon content source from the input into making sea water a source for synthetic fuels.

Offline

#49 2022-07-28 02:43:18

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 4,782

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

Student gets $20,000 grant to study plastic pollution in Antarctic air, sea, and snow
https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/129 … a-and-snow

Yes, Food Is Grown in Sewage Waste. That’s a Problem.
https://truthout.org/articles/yes-food- … a-problem/

You may not realize it but some foods you eat may have been grown in soil containing toxic sewage wastes. Labeling is not required.

In 2019, about 60 percent of sewage sludge from 16,000 wastewater processing facilities in more than 160 U.S. cities has been spread on our soils — farmland and gardens, as well as schoolyards and lawns.

The U.S. Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) allows this use of sewage waste, claiming it has beneficial use because it contains properties similar to fertilizer — certain heavy metals, phosphorus and nitrates — that could enhance soil conditions.
Get our free emails

    Email

The agency does not require testing for other chemicals in the sewage waste. Yet, millions of tons of sewage are processed annually and the waste can contain upward of 90,000 chemicals plus an array of pathogens, including mixtures of lead, mercury, arsenic, thallium, PCBs, PFAS, highly complex, superbugs, mutagens, pesticides, microplastics, radioactive wastes, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, steroids, flame retardants, dioxins, and/or their combinations.

Sewage treatment plants separate the processed sewage into solids and liquids (effluent), where these pollutants and pathogens concentrate.

The toxics-containing solids are often mixed with garden waste and sold for compost or recycled as fertilizers. These are spread on soils at farms, forests or recreational sites and can run off with stormwater into surface water bodies.

Currently the U.S. recycles 587 million gallons of this toxic effluent water each day for irrigation on agricultural land.

Florida, for instance, produces an estimated 340,000 dry tons of sewage solids annually, two-thirds of which are spread on land. California, arguably with the most sewage, “reclaims” at least 13 percent of its effluent; 31 percent is used for crop irrigation.

Long term damage from spreading sewage waste on land has led to many problems. For example, a variety of crops — including leafy greens and soybeans — used for food and animal fodder are known to have taken up sewage contaminants. The consequences? Contaminated food, loss of farmland and animals. Human illnesses and deaths have resulted from breathing the particulates.

Waste management
https://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-ant … ste/waste/
Effective waste management practices are vital to Australia’s efforts to protect the Antarctic environment.

Until relatively recently, waste disposal practices in Antarctica were similar to elsewhere in the world with open tips, land fills and burning, as well as the practice of ‘sea-icing’ – dumping rubbish onto the sea ice during winter to float away and sink during the summer. Sewage was burned or else discharged with little or no treatment straight into the sea. Some areas around stations and field camps became contaminated from oil and chemical spills. Large amounts of packaging which could not be re-used or recycled were also sent to Antarctica.

As part of a comprehensive commitment to protect the environment, Annex 3 of the Madrid Protocol PDF http://www.ats.aq/documents/recatt/Att006_e.pdf
obliges all countries to apply responsible waste management principles and to develop waste management plans.

Hazardous materials, including polystyrene beads, PCBs and radioactive materials, are prohibited from import to Antarctica.

Rubbish tips at all Australian stations were closed in 1985 and a committed clean-up program has seen many tonnes of waste removed.

The AAD is researching techniques and the environmental impacts of Antarctic contaminated site remediation, initially focussing on Casey and the abandoned former US station of Wilkes, near Casey.

Expeditioners follow specific guidelines when handling waste on station, in the field and on the ship. These guidelines are published in the AAD Operations Manual.

Waste is handled according to several broad categories:

    Wastes that are likely to become putrid are incinerated in a two-stage, high temperature incinerator, with the resultant ash returned to Australia.
    Metals, plastics, paper, cardboard and glass are separated and returned to Australia for recycling.
    Non-recyclable wastes are returned to Australia for appropriate disposal.
    Reusable packaging materials are used wherever possible.
    Biological sewage treatment plants have been installed at all Australian Antarctic stations. Sludge from the plant is removed to Australia, and the UV sterilisation of the effluent is currently being trialed to ensure that no harmful organisms are released into the environment.


Wastewater Treatment in Antarctica
https://www.fluencecorp.com/wastewater- … ntarctica/

Ninety-eight percent of the 5.483 million square-mile (14.2 million km2) continent is covered in ice. Every year, 27 nations send visiting researchers and support workers to Antarctica, giving it a seasonally variable population of between 1,000 and 4,000, divided among several stations and camps.

A key step in promoting wastewater treatment in Antarctica came in 1991 with the Madrid Protocol of the Antarctic Treaty nations, which established sewage treatment and disposal standards. It stipulates that wastewater and solids that cannot be discharged or reused be shipped for disposal to the home country of a particular outpost. Here is how a few of the dozens of stations are dealing with their wastewater challenges:

    McMurdo Station: The United States’ McMurdo Station is the largest of the Antarctic stations, and it has a $6 million, 170-by-140-foot indoor facility to treat the station’s wastewater to U.S. standards. The plant handles an unusually high load of solids. In the absence of screens or primary clarifiers, flow goes through grinders that shred rags, plastics, and trash and moves the waste on to dewatering. Storage tanks are used to manage highly variable flows at the station (its tiny population of 150 in the winter balloons to 1,000 during the summer). The flow finally undergoes UV disinfection, and, after secondary treatment, the remaining dried solids are shipped to the U.S. for disposal.
    Concordia Research Station: Concordia’s wastewater treatment system was developed from the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative program, code named Melissa, which develops regenerative life support systems for space missions. At the French-Italian station, grey water is recycled back to hygienic water starting with nanofiltration moving on to filtration through two more membranes. For the final touch, reverse osmosis is used, allowing the station to reclaim about 85% of its wastewater. Melted snow replaces the remaining unusable 15% that must be shipped off-continent.
    Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station: To supply drinking water, the U.S. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station uses Rodriguez wells, which are cavities hundreds of feet below the ice, where a reservoir of heated water is maintained and continually melts its way downward, forming a bulb-shaped space. Once the bulb space is about 500 feet (152.4 m) deep, it requires too much energy to pump the fresh water up, so the retired bulb then becomes the new storage space for the station’s sewage outfall. The newest bulb is expected to be large enough for 10-15 years’ worth of sewage.
    Princess Elisabeth Station: This zero-emission Belgian station has a focus on water reuse. Its computer-controlled system recycles up to 75% of its wastewater. An upper storage tank for black water macerates solids and pumps them to an anaerobic bioreactor, heated partially by thermal solar panels, where insoluble material is continually filtered. The bottom tank routes grey water to an aerobic bioreactor where sludge is aerated to aid nitrification and denitrification. Then, nanofiltration and carbon filtration are applied. Before tank storage, the wastewater’s acidity is regulated and it undergoes UV and chlorine disinfection. The unusable portion is shipped off-continent. Princess Elisabeth Station requires people on antibiotics to use a separate toilet to prevent antibiotics from killing the microorganisms that do the work in the activated sludge system.

Feats of Adaptation

The ESA considers survival in an environment as hostile to human life as Antarctica akin to survival on Mars, and some would say the pioneers of Antarctica are almost as adventurous as astronauts. But wherever humans settle, wastewater treatment must eventually follow.

Offline

#50 2022-07-28 21:07:45

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,753

Re: Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste

While earth may have the many pollutants within its waste stream will mars in time have a similar or different result...

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB