The University of North Dakota is developing a plasma reactor system for use in closed-loop processing that includes biological, materials, manufacturing, and waste processing. Direct-current, high-frequency, or microwave discharges will be used to produce plasmas for the treatment of materials. The plasma reactors offer several advantages over other systems, including low operating temperatures, low operating pressures, mechanical simplicity, and relatively safe operation. Human fecal material, sunflowers, oats, soybeans, and plastic were oxidized in a batch plasma reactor. Over 98 percent of the organic material was converted to gaseous products. The solids were then analyzed and a large amount of water and acid-soluble materials were detected. These materials could possibly be used as nutrients for biological systems.
MAN/SYSTEM TECHNOLOGY AND LIFE SUPPORT
NASA. Johnson Space Center, The Second Conference on Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century, Volume 2; p 559-562