Selection of an Alternate Biocide for the ISS Internal Thermal Control System Coolant - Phase II 2004-01-2472
The ISS (International Space Station) ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) includes two internal coolant loops that utilize an aqueous based coolant for heat transfer. A silver salt biocide had previously been utilized as an additive in the coolant formulation to control the growth and proliferation of microorganisms within the coolant loops. Ground-based and in-flight testing demonstrated that the silver salt was rapidly depleted, and did not act as an effective long-term biocide. Efforts to select an optimal alternate biocide for the ITCS coolant application have been underway and are now in the final stages.
An extensive evaluation of biocides was conducted to down-select to several candidates for test trials and was reported on previously. Criteria for that down-select included: the need for safe, non-intrusive implementation and operation in a functioning system; the ability to control existing planktonic and biofilm residing microorganisms; a negligible impact on system wetted materials of construction; and a negligible reactivity with existing coolant additives.
Candidate testing to provide data for the selection of an optimal alternate biocide is now in the final stages. That testing has included rapid biocide effectiveness screening using Biolog MT2 plates to determine minimum inhibitory concentration (amount that will inhibit visible growth of microorganisms), time kill studies to determine the exposure time required to completely eliminate organism growth, materials compatibility exposure evaluations, and coolant compatibility studies. This paper reports the current status of the effort to select an alternate biocide for the ISS ITCS coolant. The results of various test results to select the optimal candidate are presented.