Professor working on project that could go into space

Friday, April 24, 2020

A professor at Waterloo Engineering is a member of a team that is advancing technology to turn organic waste into green fuels and fertilizer.

Research by Janusz Kozinski and several collaborators at the University of Saskatchewan includes a project with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to convert waste and wastewater into energy for possible use on the International Space Station and during long-term space missions.

Janusz Kozinski

Janusz Kozinski is an adjunct professor at Waterloo Engineering.

Kozinski, an adjunct professor of chemical engineering, stressed the research will help train young researchers capable of performing at the forefront of the field.

“This new wave of engineers will be creative makers and doers who empathize, reflect, innovate and create in an era of radical change,” he said.

The research team has produced high-quality synthesis gas, or syngas, using crop and forestry residues, food waste such as cooking oil, municipal solid waste, cattle manure, petroleum and petrochemical waste, and scrap tires.

Syngas could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by providing a cheaper alternative to fossil fuels for generating heat, steam and power.

A recent paper on the team’s work, Hydrothermal gasification of soybean straw and flax straw for hydrogen-rich syngas production: Experimental and thermodynamic modeling, appears online in several journals.