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  • Monday, October 21, 2019
  • Egbejimba Awarded Alaska Space Grant Funding from NASA

Joseph Egbejimba, a third-year student in mechanical engineering being advised by David Denkenberger, was recently awarded a $5,000 in Alaska Space Grant funding by NASA.
The project will investigate using hydrogen-eating single-cell protein as a food source in space. Solar or nuclear electricity would be used to split water into oxygen and hydrogen.
The idea is that astronauts would breathe the oxygen and also absorb the “food.” The waste products of this process are carbon dioxide, which the single-cell protein use to grow, and water. So it is a closed loop.

This project will be a collaboration with the Finnish company Solar Foods, which is investigating the technology for present-day applications.
The NASA project will also investigate the potential of this food source in catastrophes such as abrupt climate change and asteroid impact. In this case, the most economical source of hydrogen may be gasifying (heating with no oxygen) solid fuels such as biomass, coal and peat.


Joseph Egbejimba (L) a student of David Denkenberger (R) was awarded Space Grant Funding from NASA. Photo by Amanda Byrd.