Refine Your Search

Search Results

Viewing 1 to 3 of 3
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Methods for Remediating Biofilms in Spacecraft Potable Water Systems

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

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

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

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.