O2 Saturator for Biological and Physicochemical Water Processors
The development of robust membrane oxygenation systems for microgravity and hypogravity compatible dissolution of oxygen into flowing water streams such as Biological Water Processor feed or recycle is proposed. Multiphase gas-liquid flow through catalyst particles or cells immobilized on solid supports can result in flow channeling and in extreme cases, gas block (i.e., the requirement for extremely high pressures to achieve fluid flow). The potential for multiphase flow related problems is significantly increased under low gravity conditions due to the weakening (or absence) of buoyant forces which facilitate phase separations based upon density differences. These problems can be easily avoided by first dissolving the gas phase in the liquid phase and then establishing single phase flow through the system. We propose the development of organic polymer/ceramic membrane based oxygenation systems, compatible with operation at either elevated or ambient temperatures, and able to saturate an influent aqueous stream flowing at rates corresponding to the requirements of ISS or ground based ALS testing in the BioPlex facility. Phase I will demonstrate feasibility; Phase II will result in the design, fabrication, and thorough testing of a complete system to be delivered to NASA at the end of the project.
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Umpqua Research Company
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