Disinfection of potable water, using a simple yet reliable approach is vital for continuing a manned presence in space. Maintaining an antimicrobial residual is crucial for assuring water potability. The Halogen Binding Resin (HBR) technology is directed toward developing halogen (chlorine or bromine) based water disinfection using an approach that resembles that currently used for iodine delivery. The aim of the research is to develop flow-through devices containing a novel HBR for the controlled release of halogen for water disinfection. Previous materials that bind chlorine and bromine fall short of meeting NASA’s biocide residual needs. Successful syntheses of two slow-release resins during the Phase I effort should be expanded upon. Both of these resins function exceptionally well for bromine slow-release, however, our initial attempts to develop a resin for the slow-release of chlorine have been unsuccessful. Although a continued effort to develop a chlorine based resin will be ongoing, a bromine based resin may be well suited to NASA’s needs. Bromine has been adopted by the US NAVY as their primary means of disinfecting potable water aboard naval vessels. Our resin will be used in a simple flow-through cartridge that will act as both a contact kill biocide device and as a source of free chlorine or bromine. A halogen residual of 0.5 to 4 mg/L will be delivered to the water. This concentration range is generally accepted as being safe and therefore removal is not required prior to crew consumption. The residual concentration will remain within this range over a wide range of flows. This Halogen Binding Resin will be entirely analogous to the original MCV® resin but will release chlorine or bromine instead of iodine. The next generation Microbial Check Valve (MCV2) made with this resin can be used as a direct replacement for the currently used MCV®.
The NASA application will be as Flight Hardware for deployment in support of future manned missions. The production and storage of safe potable water is a requirement for all manned operations in space. MCV2 technology will be microgravity compatible, reliable (>3-year life), and will remain functional with system pressures exceeding 30 psig. The MCV2 will find application in various deep space manned exploration mission phases including Mars transit.
Non-NASA applications of this MCV2 technology will find widespread use in terrestrial markets. MCV2 technology is particularly applicable towards water disinfection in locations where access to safe drinking water is unavailable. In many third world nations, the occurrence of diseases such as typhoid and cholera, which originate from waterborne pathogens, could be prevented by MCV2 use.