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Technical Paper

Chemical Analysis and Water Recovery Testing of Shuttle-Mir Humidity Condensate

1999-07-12
1999-01-2029
Humidity condensate collected and processed in-flight is an important component of a space station drinking water supply. Water recovery systems in general are designed to handle finite concentrations of specific chemical components. Previous analyses of condensate derived from spacecraft and ground sources showed considerable variation in composition. Consequently, an investigation was conducted to collect condensate on the Shuttle while the vehicle was docked to Mir, and return the condensate to Earth for testing. This scenario emulates an early ISS configuration during a Shuttle docking, because the atmospheres intermix during docking and the condensate composition should reflect that. During the STS-89 and STS-91 flights, a total volume of 50 liters of condensate was collected and returned. Inorganic and organic chemical analyses were performed on aliquots of the fluid.
Technical Paper

A Spectrophotometric Analyzer for Aqueous Samples in Microgravity

1999-07-12
1999-01-2032
The development of a spectrophotometric analyzer for use on water samples in microgravity environments is discussed. The instrument is constructed around a commercial spectrophotometer, the Hewlett-Packard HP8453, with a separate turbidimetric analyzer, here a modified Hach 2100P ratio turbidimeter. Flow-through sample cells were constructed for each instrument to support microgravity use and sample deaeration. Spectrophotometric analyses on aqueous samples on orbit are sensitive to the presence of undissolved gases in the samples. In a micro-g environment, free gas in samples can and does remain suspended, clouding the mixture and interfering with spectral optical density measurements. This paper discusses the design of a spectrophotometric analyzer, with particular emphasis on the merits of two approaches to eliminating free gas interferences in on-orbit water analyses: hyperbaric gas redissolution and deaeration across a hydrophobic membrane.
Technical Paper

Total Organic Carbon Analyzer For ISS

1998-07-13
981765
On the International Space Station (ISS), atmospheric humidity condensate and other waste waters will be recycled and treated to produce potable water for use by the crews. Space Station requirements include an on-orbit capability for real-time monitoring of key water quality parameters, such as total organic carbon (TOC), total inorganic carbon (TIC), total carbon (TC), pH, and conductivity, to ensure that crew health is protected during consumption of reclaimed water. The Crew Health Care System (CHeCS) for ISS includes an analyzer that has been designed to meet this requirement. The analyzer is adapted from commercially successful technology, and it measures TOC and TIC throughout the range from 1 to 50,000 μg/L, and TC from 1 to 100,000 μg/L. It measures pH between 2.0 and 12.0 pH units, and conductivity from 0.1 to 300 μmho/cm. The analyzer is scheduled for launch to ISS on mission 2A.1.
Technical Paper

Solid Phase Extraction of Polar Compounds in Water

1997-07-01
972465
The Water and Food Analytical Laboratory, at the Johnson Space Center is developing an alternative to EPA Method 625 for analyzing semivolatile organic compounds in water. The current EPA method uses liquid-liquid extraction. The alternative method being developed differs in the sample preparation phase by replacing gravity-dependent liquid-liquid extraction with solid phase extraction (SPE). The ultimate goal is to incorporate the optimum SPE conditions into an automated sample preparation process. The method shows promise with regard to anticipated polar compounds. Fourteen SPE resins and nine elution solvents were compared. For typical analytes encountered by our laboratory, a styrene-divinylbenzene SPE resin and an elution solvent mixture of methylene chloride and ethyl ether were found to give the highest extraction recoveries. A study is in progress to remove water from the extracts before GC/MS analysis.
Technical Paper

Chemical Analysis of Potable Water and Humidity Condensate Collected During the MIR-21 Mission

1997-07-01
972462
The primary source of potable water planned for the International Space Station will be generated from the reclamation of humidity condensate, urine, and hygiene waters. It is vital to crew health and performance that this reclaimed water be safe for human consumption, and that health risks associated with recycled water consumption be identified and quantified. Only recently has data been available on the chemical constituents in reclaimed waters generated in microgravity. Results for samples collected during Mir-21 reveal that both the reclaimed water and stored water are of potable quality, although the samples did not meet U.S. standards for total organic carbon (TOC), total phenols, and turbidity.
Technical Paper

Risk Mitigation Water Quality Monitor

1997-07-01
972463
On the International Space Station (ISS), atmospheric humidity condensate and other waste waters will be recycled and treated to produce potable water for use by the crews. Space station requirements include an on-orbit capability for real-time monitoring of key water quality parameters, such as total organic carbon, total inorganic carbon, total carbon, pH, and conductivity, to ensure that crew health is protected for consumption of reclaimed water. The Crew Health Care System for ISS includes a total organic carbon (TOC) analyzer that is currently being designed to meet this requirement. As part of the effort, a spacecraft TOC analyzer was developed to demonstrate the technology in microgravity and mitigate risks associated with its use on station. This analyzer was successfully tested on Shuttle during the STS-81 mission as a risk mitigation experiment. A total of six ground-prepared test samples and two Mir potable water samples were analyzed in flight during the 10-day mission.
Technical Paper

Potable Water Treatment and Transfer from Shuttle to Mir

1997-07-01
972461
To satisfy a requirement to supply water to Mir station, a process for treating iodinated water on the Shuttle was developed and implemented. The treatment system consists of packed columns for removing iodine and a syringe-based injection system for adding ionic silver, the biocide used in Mir water. Technical and potable grade water is produced and transferred in batches using collapsible 44-liter contingency water containers (CWCs). Silver is added to the water via injection of a solution from preloaded syringes. Minerals are also added to water destined for drinking. During the previous four Shuttle-Mir docking missions a total of 2781 liters (735 gallons) of water produced by the Shuttle fuel cells was processed using this method and transferred to Mir. To verify the quality of the processed water, samples were collected during flight and returned for chemical analysis.
Technical Paper

A Total Organic Carbon Analyzer for Space Potable Water Systems

1996-07-01
961570
A Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzer has been developed for a Life Sciences Risk Mitigation Flight Experiment to be conducted on Spacehab and the Russian space station, Mir. Initial launch is scheduled for December 1996 (flight STS-81). The analyzer will be tested on the Orbiter in the Spacehab module, including when the Orbiter is docked at the Mir space station. The analyzer is scheduled to be launched again in May 1997 (STS-84) when it will be transferred to Mir. During both flights the analyzer will measure the quality of recycled and ground-supplied potable water on the space station. Samples will be archived for later return to the ground, where they will be analyzed for comparison to in-flight results. Water test samples of known composition, brought up with the analyzer, also will be used to test its performance in microgravity. Ground-based analyses of duplicates of those test samples will be conducted concurrently with the in-flight analyses.
Technical Paper

Microbiological Analysis of Water in Space

1995-07-01
951683
One of the proposed methods for monitoring the microbial quality of the water supply aboard the International Space Station is membrane filtration. We adapted this method for space flight by using an off-the-shelf filter unit developed by Millipore. This sealed unit allows liquid to be filtered through a 0.45 μm cellulose acetate filter that sits atop an absorbent pad to which growth medium is added. We combined a tetrazolium dye with R2A medium to allow microbial colonies to be seen easily, and modified the medium to remain stable over 70 weeks at 25°C. This hardware was assembled and tested in the laboratory and during parabolic flight; a modified version was then flown on STS-66. After the STS-66 mission, a back-up plastic syringe and an all-metal syringe pump were added to the kit, and the hardware was used successfully to evaluate water quality aboard the Russian Mir space station.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Methods for Remediating Biofilms in Spacecraft Potable Water Systems

1994-06-01
941388
Controlling microbial growth and biofilm formation in spacecraft water-distribution systems is necessary to protect the health of the crew. Methods to decontaminate the water system in flight may be needed to support long-term missions. We evaluated the ability of iodine and ozone to kill attached bacteria and remove biofilms formed on stainless steel coupons. The biofilms were developed by placing the coupons in a manifold attached to the effluent line of a simulated spacecraft water-distribution system. After biofilms were established, the coupons were removed and placed in a treatment manifold in a separate water treatment system where they were exposed to the chemical treatments for various periods. Disinfection efficiency over time was measured by counting the bacteria that could be recovered from the coupons using a sonication and plate count technique. Scanning electron microscopy was also used to determine whether the treatments actually removed the biofilm.
Technical Paper

Depletion of Biocidal Iodine in a Stainless Steel Water System

1994-06-01
941391
Iodine depletion in a simulated water storage tank and distribution system was examined to support a larger research program aimed at developing disinfection methods for spacecraft potable water systems. The main objective of this study was to determine the rate of iodine depletion with respect to the surface area of the stainless steel components contacting iodinated water. Two model configurations were tested. The first, representing a storage and distribution system, consisted of a stainless steel bellows tank, a coil of stainless steel tubing and valves to isolate the components. The second represented segments of a water distribution system and consisted of eight individual lengths of 21-6-9 stainless tubing similar to that used in the Shuttle Orbiter. The tubing has a relatively high and constant surface area to volume ratio (S/V) and the bellows tank a lower and variable S/V.
Technical Paper

Advanced Development of the Regenerative Microbial Check Valve

1993-07-01
932175
The Microbial Check Valve (MCV) is a reloadable flow-through canister containing iodinated ion exchange resin, which is used aboard the Shuttle Orbiter as a disinfectant to maintain water potability. The MCV exhibits a significant contact kill and imparts a biocidal residual I2 concentration to the effluent. MCVs in current use have nominal 30 day lives. MCVs baselined for Space Station Freedom will have 90 day lives, and will require replacement 120 times over 30 years. Means to extend MCV life are desirable to minimize resupply penalties. New technology has been developed for fully autonomous in situ regeneration of an expended MCV canister. The Regenerative Microbial Check Valve (RMCV) consists of an MCV, a packed bed of crystalline I2, a flow diverter valve, an in-line iodine monitor and a microcontroller. During regeneration, flow is directed first through the packed I2 bed and then into the MCV where the resin is replenished.
Technical Paper

Iodine Addition Using Triiodide Solutions

1992-07-01
921315
The STS water system is treated with iodinated water in order to prevent microbial contamination. This water is prepared by adding a concentrated solution of iodine to Ground Service Equipment (GSE) before adding the water in that unit to the spacecraft system. The solution is prepared by dissolving iodine in ethanol to make a tincture stock solution. While this procedure is rapid, the ethanol increases the carbon levels in the STS potable water and may produce unpleasant odors. The resulting high carbon levels preclude the use of total organic carbon measurements as a water quality monitoring tool. The use of triiodide solutions was studied as a substitute for using ethanol solutions. Two dissolution agents, sodium iodide and hydriodic acid, were investigated. Sodium iodide was studied at molar concentration ratios ranging from 1:1 to 2.5:1 sodium iodide to molecular iodine.
Technical Paper

Regenerable Microbial Check Valve: Life Cycle Tests Results

1992-07-01
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.
Technical Paper

Biofilm Formation and Control in a Simulated Spacecraft Water System: Three Year Results

1992-07-01
921310
Two simulated spacecraft water systems are being used to evaluate the effectiveness of iodine for controlling microbial contamination within such systems. An iodine concentration of about 2.0 mg/L is maintained in one system by passing ultrapure water through an iodinated ion exchange resin. Stainless steel coupons with electropolished and mechanically-polished sides are being used to monitor biofilm formation. Results after three years of operation show a single episode of significant bacterial growth in the iodinated system when the iodine level dropped to 1.9 mg/L. This growth was apparently controlled by replacing the iodinated ion exchange resin, thereby increasing the iodine level. The second batch of resin has remained effective in controlling microbial growth down to an iodine level of 1.0 mg/L. Scanning electron microscopy indicates that the iodine has impeded but may have not completely eliminated the formation of biofilm.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Capillary Electrophoresis for In-flight Ionic Contaminant Monitoring of SSF Potable Water

1992-07-01
921268
Until 1989, ion chromatography (IC) was the baseline technology selected for the Specific Ion Analyzer, an in-flight inorganic water quality monitor being designed for Space Station Freedom. Recent developments in capillary electrophoresis (CE) may offer significant savings of consumables, power consumption, and weight/volume allocation, relative to IC technology. A thorough evaluation of CE's analytical capability, however, is necessary before one of the two techniques is chosen. Unfortunately, analytical methods currently available for inorganic CE are unproven for NASA's target list of anions and cations. Thus, CE electrolyte chemistry and methods to measure the target contaminants must be first identified and optimized. This paper reports the status of a study to evaluate CE's capability with regard to inorganic and carboxylate anions, alkali and alkaline earth cations, and transition metal cations.
Technical Paper

Development and (Evidence for) Destruction of Biofilm with Pseudomonas aeruginosa as Architect

1991-07-01
911404
Disinfection and maintenance of an acceptable level of asepsis in spacecraft potable water delivery systems is a formidable task. The major area of research for this project has been to monitor the formation and growth of biofilm, and biofilm attached microorganisms, on stainless steel surfaces (specifically coupons), and the use of ozone for the elimination of these species in a closed loop system. A number of different techniques have been utilized during the course of a typical run. Scraping and sonication of coupon surfaces with subsequent plating as well as epifluorescence microscopy have been utilized to enumerate biofilm protected Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In addition, scanning electron microscopy is the method of choice to examine the integrity of the biofilm. For ozone determinations, the indigo decolorization spectrophotometric method seems most reliable. Both high- and low-nutrient cultured P. aeruginosa organisms were the target species for the ozone disinfection experiments.
Technical Paper

Biofilm Formation and Control in a Simulated Spacecraft Water System: Two-Year Results

1991-07-01
911403
The ability of iodine to maintain microbial water quality in a simulated spacecraft water system is being studied. An iodine level of about 2.0 mg/L is maintained by passing ultrapure influent water through an iodinated ion exchange resin. Six liters are withdrawn daily and the chemical and microbial quality of the water is monitored regularly. Stainless steel coupons used to monitor biofilm formation are being analyzed by culture methods, epifluorescence microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. Results from the first two years of operation show a single episode of high bacterial colony counts in the iodinated system. This growth was apparently controlled by replacing the iodinated ion exchange resin. Scanning electron microscopy indicates that the iodine has limited but not completely eliminated the formation of biofilm during the first two years of operation.
Technical Paper

Total Organic Carbon Analyzer

1991-07-01
911434
Development and testing of a high sensitivity monitor for the measurement of Total Organic Carbon (TOC) in water without gravity-dependent components and using minimal chemical reagents has been performed. A breadboard instrument was constructed and tested for linearity, selectivity, and day-to-day reproducibility. The instrument has a linear response for a wide range of organic compounds over a range from 20 ppb C to 50 ppm C, with excellent day-to-day reproducibility. The upper level can be extended to ∼100 ppm C by changing the operating conditions of the analyzer. The selectivity of the instrument has been determined and no interference is observed except for high concentrations (> 10 ppm) of iodine, hypochlorous acid, sodium nitrite and sodium sulfide.
Technical Paper

A Volatile Organics Concentrator for Use in Monitoring Space Station Water Quality

1990-07-01
901352
The process used to identify, select and design an approach to the isolation and concentration of volatile organic compounds from a water sample prior to chemical analysis in a microgravity environment is described. The Volatile Organics Concentrator (VOC) system described in this paper has been designed for attachment to a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer (GC/MS) for analysis of volatile organics in water on Space Station. In this work, in order to rank the many identified approaches, the system was broken into three critical areas. These were gases, volatile separation from water and water removal/GC/MS interface. Five options involving different gases (or combinations) for potential use in the VOC and GC/MS system were identified and ranked. Nine options for separation of volatiles from the water phase were identified and ranked. Seven options for use in the water removal/GC column and MS interface were also identified and included in overall considerations.
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