Browse Publications Technical Papers 2007-01-3216
2007-07-09

Liquid Metering Centrifuge Sticks (LMCS): A Centrifugal Approach to Metering Known Sample Volumes for Colorimetric Solid Phase Extraction (C-SPE) 2007-01-3216

Phase separation is one of the most significant obstacles encountered during the development of analytical methods for water quality monitoring in spacecraft environments. Removing air bubbles from water samples prior to analysis is a routine task on earth; however, in the absence of gravity, this routine task becomes extremely difficult. This paper details the development and initial ground testing of liquid metering centrifuge sticks (LMCS), devices designed to collect and meter a known volume of bubble-free water in microgravity. The LMCS uses centrifugal force to eliminate entrapped air and reproducibly meter liquid sample volumes for analysis with Colorimetric Solid Phase Extraction (C-SPE). Previous flight experiments conducted in microgravity conditions aboard the NASA KC-135 aircraft demonstrated that the inability to collect and meter a known volume of water using a syringe was a limiting factor in the accuracy of C-SPE measurements. Herein, results obtained from ground based C-SPE experiments using ionic silver as a test analyte and either the LMCS or syringes for sample metering are compared to evaluate the performance of the LMCS. These results indicate very good agreement between the two sample metering methods and clearly illustrate the potential of utilizing centrifugal forces to achieve phase separation and metering of water samples in microgravity.

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