The Water Reclamation and Management System (WRM) for the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) has changed dramatically since Space Station Freedom (SSF) Restructure. What was two separate processors: the Potable Water Processor (PWP) and the Hygiene Water Processor (HWP), is now one combined system called the Water Processor (WP). This combined system is required to process the waste hygiene, handwash, and laundry waters, the Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) condensate, Shuttle fuel cell water, and the urine distillate, to produce potable quality water.
The WP is composed of four major functions: waste water collection and storage, processed water storage and delivery, contaminant removal, and microbial separation between the waste and processed water. The two water storage and delivery functions are accomplished using vented bellows tanks and pumps. The contaminant removal function is accomplished in a series of operations that include particulate removal, organic and inorganic chemical removal using multifiltration (MF), and oxidation of the low molecular weight organics and removal of the oxidation products in a Volatile Removal Apparatus (VRA). Microbial separation between the inlet waste water and the outlet processed water is accomplished by high temperature sterilization of the waste water and iodine dosing of the processed water.
This paper presents the changes to the WP that have occurred since Restructure, which emphasized resource reductions and resulted in major changes to ECLSS WRM hardware, shows the current functional schematic, identifies the key technology areas, and presents the activities that are being pursued to support system development. Key components are discussed such as an inlet water separator that removes the free gas that is mixed with the inlet waste water, a high temperature sterilizer, particulate filters, multifiltration beds, and the VRA. In addition, basic material and microbiological issues that impact the entire assembly design are discussed. The purpose of this paper is to inform the space community of the status of the current WP and the advances that are being made to develop this new and challenging system.