Dimethylsilanediol (DMSD) source assessment and mitigation on ISS: Estimated contributions from personal hygiene products containing volatile methyl siloxanes (VMS)



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48th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Dimethylsilanediol (DMSD) is a small organosilicon compound present in humidity condensate on the International Space Station. Aqueous DMSD originates from volatile methyl siloxane (VMS) compounds in the ISS cabin atmosphere. DMSD is not effectively removed by the WPA (Water Processor Assembly), requiring removal and replacement of both WPA MF Beds for an estimated resupply penalty of approximately 70 kg/year. Analyses indicate that WPA can handle DMSD if the concentration in the condensate can by reduced by fifty percent. Personal Hygiene Products (PHPs) used by crew are suspected to be a significant source of VMS. Source removal of VMS will be required to achieve a measurable impact to the DMSD concentration in the condensate. The inventory of total crew provisions for ISS was analyzed to identify silicon containing materials and products used for personal hygiene that emit VMS. Accounting for the wide range in mass of hygiene product applied to skin or hair, the frequency of application, the product selection, the number of crew using a given product, the range in silicon mass fraction of different products, and the potential vaporization of the product, the potential total VMS emissions from personal hygiene products for a crew of six on ISS were estimated. The total daily VMS emissions from PHPs estimate ranges from 261 to 1145 mg-Si per day, compared to total estimated VMS generation rates on ISS of 800 to 1500 mg-Si per day. The main sources of VMS were determined to be antiperspirants (173 to 696 mg-Si per day), skin lotions (63 to 248 mg-Si per day), wipes (25 to 124 mg-Si per day) and hair conditioner (0 to 69 mg-Si per day). Several siloxanes-free options are available for deodorants, wet wipes, lotions, and leave-in conditioners. These products are now being assessed for crew member use in future increments.


Dean Muirhead, Barrios Technology
Donald Carter, NASA
ICES404: International Space Station ECLS: Systems
The 48th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA on 08 July 2018 through 12 July 2018.


DMSD, siloxanes, VMS