Nanotechnology for Beyond Earth Water Treatment


NASA has embarked on a journey to enable human exploration on the Moon and Mars by 2024. These long duration missions beyond low earth orbit (LEO) will require advanced water treatment and reuse technologies for life support systems to support crew and system needs. Resupply to deep space destinations is not desirable and sustained human presence in a lunar environment increases the necessity for robust and reliable systems. To reduce propulsion costs and transit space allocations, mass, power consumption, and volume must be minimized for all systems. Additionally, a beyond (LEO) water treatment system process must be able to tolerate both operational and dormant periods. Herein, we present nanotechnologies developed by the Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) center as advanced solutions to meet the aforementioned requirements. This survey of fit-for-purpose modular technologies includes room temperature nanocatalysis, nanophotonics, nano-selective scalant control, quorum sensing and biofouling control techniques, and nano enabled fluid management. A case study of integrating nanotechnology into state-of-the-art and developing systems is also presented.


Tanya Rogers, Rice University, USA
Alessandro Alabastri, Rice University, USA
Naomi Halas, Rice University, USA
Jacques Mathieu, Rice University, USA
Pedro Alvarez, Rice University, USA
Layne Carter, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), USA
Michael Wong, Rice University, USA
Rafael Verduzco, Rice University, USA
Jordin Metz, Rice University, USA
Pratiksha D. Dongare, Rice University, USA
ICES303: Physio-Chemical Life Support- Water Recovery & Management Systems- Technology and Process Development
The proceedings for the 2020 International Conference on Environmental Systems were published from July 31, 2020. The technical papers were not presented in person due to the inability to hold the event as scheduled in Lisbon, Portugal because of the COVID-19 global pandemic.


Nanotechnology, Catalysis, Fouling, Localized heating, Nanophotonics, Biofouling, Scalant control, Nanomaterials