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An overview of blackwater data collection from space life support systems and its comparison to a terrestrial wastewater dataset

Jurga, Anna, Janiak, Kamil, Ratkiewicz, Krzysztof, Podstawczyk, Daria
Journal of environmental management 2019 v.241 pp. 198-210
data collection, elemental composition, feces, gravity, risk, streams, support systems, urine, wastewater
Extraterrestrial colonization is a certain eventuality that would be nearly impossible without the efficient and robust resources of recovering life support systems. Knowledge of inputs is necessary for the development of such systems, especially for the first stages of design such as mass balancing and the selection of unitary processes. One of the most important inputs is blackwater, as this stream is the most polluted and rich in resources and needs to be treated and reused. In the paper, data from space missions and terrestrial sources concerning the flows, concentrations and loads in urine and feces are compared and analyzed. It is shown that results obtained during space missions are scarce and for many parameters no information is available. It is also shown how gravity influences the elemental composition of urine and feces. In contrast, data from terrestrial sources are abundant. The presented analysis shows that data from space and terrestrial systems are convergent for many parameters and that the available terrestrial data for those parameters can be used for mass balancing and unitary process selection without a high risk.