Biomass Productivity and Sustainability of a Bioregenerative Life-Support System 921359

Energy budgets for future Controlled Ecological Life-Support Systems (CELSS) must balance not only with respect to primary productivity (i.e., photosynthesis) vs. utilization steps (human maintenance plus preparative and recycling processes), but also with respect to necessary and desired nonlife-support activities of crews (e.g., exploration, research). Present objectives of the NSCORT program at Purdue University include identification of critical paths for biomass conversion to desired forms with energetics and rate-constant properties that are compatible with life-support sustainability within a CELSS. Physico-chemical recycling systems working in conjunction with bioregenerative ones likely will be required to keep time constants of critical processes within reasonable limits.


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