Synthetic Biological Membrane Forward Osmosis Trade Study
This document provides a trade study for the Synthetic Biological Membrane (SBM). The objective is to compare the SBM technology against the current state of the art in spacecraft water recycling. The primary advantage of the SBM is that it improves the reliability of membrane based water recycling systems which have inherent mass, power and volume benefits over competing systems. The SBM is a novel biomimetic technology that reduces the need to replace separation membranes that become fouled, or are damaged due to oxidation. The technology is based on a new generation of biological membranes that have the ability to heal by replacing a sacrificial fatty acid (FA) coating on the membrane’s active side. The FAs are generated in situ by genetically engineered organisms that live in contact with the membrane using nutrients that are extracted from the feed across the membrane.