Novel Regenerative Carbon Analyzer for Water Quality Monitoring

Period of Performance: 01/01/2006 - 12/31/2006


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Lynntech, Inc.
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


One of the highest priorities of a regenerative life support system for manned space missions (to the Moon, Mars, and other remote locations) is to recover and process wastewater to provide clean water. Among detectors used to monitor recycled water quality, a total organic carbon (TOC) instrument must be used to assess the organic contaminant level. Available TOC instruments have major limitations for space missions: they need periodic resupply of reagents and water; thus, storage of toxic chemicals and crew time for maintenance are required. The aim of this project is to develop a novel Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) for real-time monitoring of water quality. It will be designed with an operational lifetime of 5 years with no maintenance required and no need to supply reagents or water. During the Phase I, Lynntech designed, fabricated, and successfully tested both critical components of TOCA and a breadboard TOCA. Testing included ersatz reverse osmosis permeate water. Requirements for TOC range (0.25 to 50 ppm) and accuracy (? 25% above 1 ppm and ?0.25 ppm below 1 ppm) were met. During Phase II, an optimized, precise, reliable, flight qualifiable, microgravity compatible TOCA prototype will be designed, fabricated, tested, and delivered to NASA.