Chitosan-based Biocides for Water Disinfection
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NASA’s current efforts are focused on long-duration flights to the Moon, Mars and beyond. Potable water is a fundamental requirement for crew consumption, specific hardware applications and more recently for plant growth in space. It is imperative to the success of the space missions that potable water be protected from microbial proliferation, especially in the case of stored water for extended periods of time. Iodine and ionic silver are used in the water on the International space station (ISS) and on space shuttle missions. These chemicals are able to prevent microbial growth but should be used in low concentrations to avoid human toxicity and need to be filtered before human consumption. Therefore, alternative, non-toxic biocides are needed for spacecraft potable water systems. In this paper studies on the use of chitosan-based disinfectants to protect water in crewed space missions will be presented.