Characterization of Spacecraft Humidity Condensate 932176
When construction of Space Station Freedom reaches the Permanent Manned Capability stage, plans call for the Water Recovery and Management Subsystem to treat distilled urine, spent hygiene water, and humidity condensate in order to reclaim water of potable quality. The reclamation technologies currently baselined to process these wastewaters include adsorption, ion exchange, catalytic oxidation, and disinfection. To ensure that baselined technologies will be able to effectively remove those compounds that present health risks to the crew, the National Research Council has recommended that additional information be gathered on specific contaminants in wastewaters representative of those to be encountered on Space Station.
This paper reports the efforts by the Water and Food Analytical Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center to enlarge the database of potential contaminants in humidity condensate. These efforts included an experiment to collect cabin condensate on two Shuttle missions, STS-45 and STS-47. Samples of Shuttle condensate returned to the ground were then analyzed for inorganic and organic constituents. Up to 75% of the measured Total Organic Carbon could be accounted for by available analytical procedures. Comparing Shuttle cabin condensate with condensate from other sources underscores the importance of testing condensate from an environment close to that of the proposed Space Station's. Although the characterization of condensate generated in space has improved, complete characterization, particularly of the organic constituents, requires further development of analytical methods.