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Technical Paper

Simultaneous Biodegradation of a Two-Phase Fluid: Discolored Biofilm Issues

2006-07-17
2006-01-2256
Three replicate aerobic-heterotrophic biotrickling filters were designed to promote the simultaneous biodegradation of graywater and a waste gas containing NH3, H2S and CO2. Upon visual observation of discolored solids, it was originally hypothesized that gas-phase CO2 concentrations were excessive, causing regions of anoxic zones to form within the biotrickling filters. Observed discolored (black) biofilm of this nature is typically assumed to be either lysed bacterial cells or anaerobic regions, implying alteration of operational conditions. Solid (biofilm) samples were collected in the presence and absence of gas-phase wastestream(s) to determine if the gas-phase contaminants were contributing to the solid-phase discoloration. Two sets of experiments (shaker flask and solids characterization) were conduced to determine the nature of the discolored solids. Results indicated that the discolored solids were neither anaerobic bacteria nor lysed cells.
Technical Paper

NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training in Advance Life Support (ALS/NSCORT) Education and Outreach Program

2005-07-11
2005-01-3107
The ALS/NSCORT Education and Outreach provides an avenue to engage and educate higher education students and K-12 educators/students in the center's investigations of the synergistic concepts and principles required for regenerative life-support in extended-duration space exploration. The following K-12 Education programs will be addressed: 1) Key Learning Community Project provides exposure, mentoring and research opportunities for 9-12th grade students at Key Learning Community This program was expanded in 2004 to include an “Explore Mars” 3-day camp experience for 150 Key students. The overall goal of the collaborative project is to motivate students to pursue careers in science, technology, and engineering; 2) Mission to Mars Program introduces 5th-8th grade students to the complex issues involved with living on Mars, stressing the interdisciplinary fundamentals of science, technology and engineering that underlie Advanced Life Support research.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Biological Trickling Filter Performance for Graywater Treatment in ALS Systems

2005-07-11
2005-01-3023
The Bioregenerative Air Treatment for Health system has been proposed for Advanced Life Support (ALS) planetary base applications. The system will be operated as a biotrickling filter to simultaneously treat graywater and waste gas. Preliminary experiments have focused on carbon removal from a graywater simulant. Six bench scale biotrickling filter reactors were constructed and monitored continuously. After a reactor startup phase of 40 days, the average total organic carbon (TOC) removal for reactors packed with Tri-packs® packing material was 62%. A second set of experiments was designed to evaluate TOC removal using different packing materials (Bee-cell and Biobale). It was hypothesized that the alternative packing materials would reduce the effects of channeling in the reactors, thus improving TOC removal. However, TOC removal did not significantly improve during the second set of experiments.
Technical Paper

Surfactant Biodegradation for Application to Advanced Life Support Water Recycling Systems

2004-07-19
2004-01-2513
Complete reuse of graywater will be essential during long duration human space missions. The highest loaded and most important component to remove from graywater is surfactant, the active ingredient in soaps and detergents. When considering a biological treatment system for processing of graywater, surfactant biodegradability becomes a very important consideration. Surfactants should be chosen that are degraded at a fast rate and yield inconsequential degradation byproducts. Experiments conducted for this research examined the biodegradation of the surfactants in Pert Plus for Kids, disodium cocoamphodiacetate (DSCADA) and sodium laureth-3 sulfate (SLES), using respirometry. Rates of CO2 production, or ultimate degradation, are reported. DSCADA was found to be toxic to bacteria when present at 270 ppm whereas no toxicity was observed during experiments with SLES.
Technical Paper

Education and Outreach Program Designed for NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training in Advance Life Support (ALS/NSCORT)

2004-07-19
2004-01-2418
The NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training in Advanced Life Support (ALS/NSCORT) Education and Outreach Program is designed to engage audiences through concepts and technologies highlighted in the NSCORT research program. The outreach program is composed of three thrust areas. These areas are technical outreach (graduate education, technology transfer, presentations to industry, etc.), educational outreach (professional development, undergraduate, K-12), and public outreach (museums, state fairs, etc.) Program design of the technical and educational outreach began in January 2003. This paper reports anecdotal data on one ALS/NSCORT outreach program and gives a brief description of the other programs in their pilot stages. Technical and educational outreach programs developed to date include: 1) Summer Fellowship Research Program, 2) Distance Learning Course, 3) Key Learning Community Collaborative Project and 4) Mission to Mars.
Technical Paper

Wastestream Characterization for a Packed Bed Biofilter Intended for Simultaneous Treatment of Graywater and Air in an Advanced Life Support System

2003-07-07
2003-01-2555
An important function of life support systems developed for a long duration human mission to Mars is the ability to recycle water and air. The Bio-Regenerative Environmental Air Treatment for Health (BREATHe) is part of a multicomponent life support system and will simultaneously treat wastewater and air. The BREATHe system will consist of packed bed biofilm reactors. Model waste streams will be used for experiments conducted during the design phase of the BREATHe system. This paper summarizes expected characteristics of water and air waste steams that would be generated by a crew of six during a human mission to Mars. In addition to waste air and water generation rates, the chemical composition of each waste stream is defined. Specifically, chemical constituents expected to be present in hygiene wastewater, dishwater, laundry water, atmospheric condensate, and cabin air are presented.
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