Regenerable Microbial Check Valve: Life Cycle Tests Results 921316
The Microbial Check Valve (MCV) is a canister containing an iodinated ion exchange resin and is used on the Shuttle Orbiter to provide microbial control of potable water. The MCV provides a significant contact kill, and imparts a biocidal iodine residual to the water. The Orbiter MCV has a design life of 30 days. For longer duration applications, such as Space Station Freedom, an extended life is desirable to avoid resupply penalties.
A method of in situ MCV regeneration with elemental iodine is being developed. During regeneration water en route to the MCV first passes through a crystalline iodine bed where a concentration between 200 - 300 mg/L I2 is attained. When introduced into the MCV, this high concentration causes an equilibrium shift towards iodine loading, effecting regeneration of the resin. After regeneration normal flow is re-established.
Life cycle regeneration testing is currently in progress. Four beds are being challenged with simulated reclaimed waters and repeatedly regenerated. The results of the first year of testing indicate that contaminant systems exhibit unique regeneration periodicities. Cyclic throughput has been found to diminish with increasing cumulative flow. The potential for seventy-five fold extension of useful MCV life has been demonstrated.