Vapor Compression Distillation Subsystem Evaluation: Microbiological Analysis of System Hardware, Pretreatment Solutions and Product Water 891551
In this study, the Vapor Compression Distillation Subsystem (VCDS), a candidate system to recover water from pretreated urine for Space Station Freedom, was operated and its hardware, urine pretreatment solution, brine solution, in-line and product tank water sampled for microbiological analysis, Bacterial populations were enumerated and isolates identified. Also, experiments were conducted to determine survivability of Klebsiellapneumoniae in urine pretreatment solution. Bacteria were cultured from all samples tested; the largest populations obtained from product tank water. Bacteria recovered from urine pretreatment and brine solutions were identified as Bacillus spp.; likely due to survival of bacterial spores. Klebsiellapneumoniae. Bacillus spp. and Pseudomonas spp. were recovered from post operative VCDS hardware. Also, Klebsiellapneumoniae was isolated from water collect from the in-line sampling port and product tank. It appears that bacteria, especially those that produce spores or extracellular polymeric substances (capsules) survive pretreatment and VCDS operation. These results support the hypothesis that bacteria revert to a viable but nonculturable phase; a possible adaptive strategy to the urine pretreatment, as in the case of Klebsiellapneumoniae. It is concluded that under the conditions used to test the VCDS, acceptable product water was not realized.
Citation: Zelibor, J., Huff, T., Kilgore, M., Otey, N. et al., "Vapor Compression Distillation Subsystem Evaluation: Microbiological Analysis of System Hardware, Pretreatment Solutions and Product Water," SAE Technical Paper 891551, 1989, https://doi.org/10.4271/891551. Download Citation
Joseph L. Zelibor, Timothy L. Huff, Melvin v. Kilgore, Natalie R. Otey, Mary S. Traweek, Gerald A. Whitman
Consortium for the Space Life Sciences University of Alabama in Huntsville, Boeing Aerospace and Electronics A Division of the Boeing Company
Intersociety Conference on Environmental Systems
SAE Transactions Journal of Aerospace-V98-1