1989-07-01

Application of Biocatalysts to Space Station Eclass and PMMS Water Reclamation 891442

Immobilized enzyme reactors have been developed and tested for potential water reclamation applications in the Space Station Freedom Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) and Process Materials Management System (PMMS). The reactors convert low molecular weight organic contaminants found in ECLSS and PMMS wastewaters to compounds that are more efficiently removed by existing technologies. Demonstration of the technology was successfully achieved with two model reactors. A packed bed reactor containing immobilized urease was found to catalyze the complete decomposition of urea to by-products that were subsequently removed using conventional ion exchange resins. A second reactor containing immobilized alcohol oxidase showed promising results relative to its ability to convert methanol and ethanol to the corresponding aldehydes for subsequent removal. Preliminary assessments of the application of biocatalysts to ECLSS and PMMS water reclamation systems are presented.

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