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Center Independent Research & Development: KSC IRAD

Phase Change Permeation Technology for Environmental Control & Life Support Systems

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Wheat growth with DTI materials used to irrigate commercial potting soil.

NASA is evaluating Dutyion™, a phase change permeation membrane technology developed by Design Technology and Irrigation (DTI), for use in future advanced life support systems. The phase change membranes could be used to passively and selectively mobilize water in microgravity to recover more water from urine and brine for environmental control and life support systems (ECLSS). A system using such technology might also be able to deliver water to plants in low gravity. 

This project will explore a recent advancement in Phase Change Permeation™ technology to enable improved (1) water recovery from urine/brine for Environmental Control and Life Support Systems, and (2) water delivery to plants for potential use in microgravity. The innovation is the use of a phase change permeation membrane to passively and selectively mobilize water in microgravity. Test objectives for water purification will determine the effects of temperature and waste water chemical composition on the water flux rate across the membrane and the chemical and microbiological water quality of permeate and effluent streams. Test objectives for water delivery to plants will determine the soil wetting characteristics of the Dutyion™ membrane material in normal gravity in preparation for future proposed flight testing.  

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