BAF - an Advanced Ecological Concept for Air Quality Control 891535
An advanced ecological concept for air quality control of space inhabited vehicles/stations is proposed for the removal of contaminants from biological origin, essentially from the crew itself, and from non-biological origin like from material off-gassing and gas leakage. The principle of the system is based on the combination of a support/sorbant material colonised by selected innocuous microorganisms in a near resting state, catabolising the contaminants to inert chemicals, mainly carbon dioxide, water and salts. Several advantages are expected over pure physico-chemical systems, namely adaptability to unexpected contaminants, to an evolution of their production rate, and ability to recover normal efficiency after accidental poisoning. The fundamental feasibility of the BAF (Biological Air filter) for space application is discussed considering essentially the nature and maximal concentrations of expected contaminants versus the known potentialities of microbes to convert these compounds, including xenobiotic compounds.