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Technical Paper

Effects of Relative Humidity on the Adsorption of Dichloromethane by Carbosieve SIII

Carbosieve SIII was used to filter dichloromethane (DCM) from a simulated spacecraft gas stream. This adsorbent was tested as a possible commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) filtration solution to controlling spacecraft air quality. DCM is a halocarbon commonly used in manufacturing for cleaning and degreasing and is a typical component of equipment offgassing in spacecraft. The performance of the filter was measured in dry and humid atmospheres. A known concentration of DCM was passed through the adsorbent at a known flow rate. The adsorbent removed dichloromethane until it reached the breakthrough volume. Carbosieve SIII exposed to dry atmospheric conditions adsorbed more DCM than when exposed to humid air. Carbosieve SIII is a useful thermally regenerated adsorbent for filtering DCM from spacecraft cabin air. However, in humid environments the gas passes through the filter sooner due to co-adsorption of additional water vapor from the atmosphere.
Technical Paper

Cabin Air Quality Dynamics On Board the International Space Station

Spacecraft cabin air quality is influenced by a variety of factors. Beyond normal equipment offgassing and crew metabolic loads, the vehicle's operational configuration contributes significantly to overall air quality. Leaks from system equipment and payload facilities, operational status of the atmospheric scrubbing systems, and the introduction of new equipment and modules to the vehicle all influence air quality. The dynamics associated with changes in the International Space Station's (ISS ) configuration since the launch of the U.S. Segment's laboratory module, Destiny, is summarized. Key classes of trace chemical contaminants that are important to crew health and equipment performance are emphasized. The temporary effects associated with attaching each multi-purpose logistics module (MPLM) to the ISS and influence of in-flight air quality on the post-flight ground processing of the MPLM are explored.
Technical Paper

Cleansing Agents for Human Hygiene in Space Travel: Considerations for Biological Processing of Wastewater

A multitude of personal cleaning products, each of which typically contains multiple surfactants, are available for terrestrial use. Selection of surfactant(s) for use in extended space missions should consider, in addition to human comfort and cleansing power, potential impacts on biological processing systems under consideration for such missions. This paper reviews the surfactants present in commercial formulations, their proper nomenclature, and relevant properties such as foaming, biodegradability of organic fractions (both with respect to rate and pathway), presence of inorganic components (e.g., sulphate or counter ions such as sodium), and analytical methods for monitoring their concentrations in waste stream. The background information and results from preliminary testing are used to draw conclusions about the proper approach for selecting surfactants for use in space missions containing biological waste treatment systems.