Resource recovery is one of the most crucial aspects of long-term survival in interplanetary space travel, and a key aspect of resource recovery lies in urine processing for a potable source of water. Currently, there is a need for an independent, energetically efficient process that achieves near 100% water recovery; sublimation technology could be the answer to this need. The basis of this technology rests on the assumption that future space vehicles will have the ability to harness the cold and vacuum of space to run internal processes such as an adapted refrigeration cycle. Theoretically the sublimation process is a viable option for potable water recovery. Thus, current research efforts focus on the efficiency of water recovery, the quality of water recovered, and decreasing the process time. The latter of these research efforts focuses on a more efficient method of supplying the heat of sublimation to urine, which is the main driving force of this technology. Currently, heating via conduction is the method of choice for most freeze-drying applications. However, single-surface heating methods are inherently inefficient. Therefore, dielectric heating could be a method of choice due to its non-restrictive heating, and thus will be the main area of research for this project.
Related Documents:WM1, WM2, WM3, WM8
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Project 3 - Liquid Freeze-Thaw (LiFT)
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