Sublimation-based Water Reclamation and Purification

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We propose the use of sublimation for spacecraft water recovery and purification. Some of the important features of sublimation technology are that is does not involve the use of any expendable materials, yields purified products with exceptionally high separation (purification) factors, and is capable of recovering 100% of the water from liquid and solid wastes while reducing the residues to a dry friable solid. We will develop this process and construct a test devise which exhibits simplicity, reliability, low mass, volume and energy consumption, without requiring expendable materials. Our innovation is targeted towards the recovery of waters consumed for metabolic and utility purposes such as drinking, washing, etc. 100% closure of the water cycle is essential for long duration missions is essential because re-supply water for the crew is too costly or impractical. Sublimation-based water system componentry will contribute to the ideal water reclamation and recycle system which will return 100 % of the water for reuse while avoiding the consumption of any expendable materials, be simple in design and function, be very reliable, and involve parsimonious mass, volume and energy needs.


Originally published as: N. V. Coppa, G. J. Maffia, and R. W. Schaeffer; Sublimation-based Water Reclamation and Purification. NASA SBIR Final Report #NCR00-003F, NAS 9-00014, 2000. https://sbir.nasa.gov/SBIR/abstracts/99/sbir/phase1/SBIR-99-1-08.03-0081.html