1992-07-01

Design and Preliminary Testing of a Membrane Based Water Recycling System for European Manned Space Missions 921396

Based on a preliminary study (ref 1) which identified a basic core technology system, essentially based on membrane technologies, capable of providing recovery of water from moderately contaminated waste waters like hygiene water and condensation water, a development work was initiated. Results from this development work are presented.The study covers the detailed design of a breadboard of a core system consisting of 3 successive membrane units : Ultrafiltration on mineral membrane, reverse osmosis and electrodialysis, plus an oxidation step. An alternative configuration including a Nanofiltration step is also considered with the aim of decreasing the operating pressure as compared to reverse osmosis.Experimental testing for the selection of individual components and for the definition of operating procedures have been performed. Feasibility demonstration tests on the complete core configuration are being performed using real shower water and condensation water from a cold room.Potable quality water recovery following the ESA standard is taken as a major success/failure criteria, especially regarding the system's ability to prevent microbial risk.Microbial monitoring, efficiency for the prevention of viral transfer via the recycling system, organic and mineral contaminants levels determination are planned for the characterisation of the breadboard during a 2 months continuous tests in real conditions. Results achieved to date will be presented.

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