ognizant Communication Corporation

HABITATION
International Journal for Human Support Research
(Formerly Life Support and Biosphere Science)

ABSTRACTS
VOLUME 11, NUMBER 3

Habitation, Vol. 11, pp. 89-93
1542-9660/07 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2007 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Influence of Support Media Characteristics on Biofilm Activity in Graywater Treatment Systems for Advanced Life Support

Sybil Sharvelle, Neepa Shah, and M. Katherine Banks

School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2051, USA

Advanced life support systems for long-duration space missions will require efficient recycling of water and air. Biological treatment systems may be used as the initial process in a multistep recycling system. Biofilm reactors (or biotrickling filters) have been shown to be effective for treatment of air and water. A major design consideration for these reactors is the selection of biofilm support media. The main objective of this research was to evaluate the effect of three commercially available support media on biofilm activity. Biofilm activity was quantified in terms of microbial respiration, or specifically, carbon dioxide production. Results indicate that carbon mineralization did not differ significantly between media types when data were evaluated based on media volume. However, there was a significant difference in microbial activity when assessed with media surface area as an input value. The results suggest that suspended microorganisms may have contributed significantly to the carbon mineralization in the reactor. Therefore, when predicting performance of submerged biofilm reactors, liquid or media volume should be used as a key model parameter rather than media surface area. This information could prove to be useful when selecting support media and reactor volume for biofilm graywater treatment reactors.

Key words: Biofilm; Bacterial adhesion; Support media; Biotrickling filters; Graywater; Contaminants; Degradation; Biofilm growth; Microbial activity

Address correspondence to M. Katherine Banks, School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, 550 Stadium Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2051, USA. Tel: (765) 496-3424; Fax: (765) 496-3449; E-mail: kbanks@ecn.purdue.edu




Habitation, Vol. 11, pp. 95-104
1542-9660/07 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2007 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Characterization of Effluent From Biological Trickling Filters Treating Graywater in Advanced Life Support Systems

Sybil Sharvelle, Eric McLamore, Stephen Clark, and M. Katherine Banks

School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2051, USA

Six bench scale biological trickling filter reactors were constructed and operated for simulated advanced life support (ALS) graywater recycling. In an initial evaluation, after a reactor startup phase of 40 days, the average TOC removal for six replicate reactors packed with Tri-packs packing material was 65%. A second set of experiments was designed to assess TOC removal using several types of packing material (B-cell and Biobale). It was hypothesized that alternative packing materials would reduce the effects of channeling in the reactors, thus improving TOC removal. However, the TOC removal was not substantially improved during the second set of experiments. Additionally, recirculation rates were varied and effects to TOC removal were tracked. These modifications also did not result in improved reactor performance. Therefore, a partial characterization of reactor effluent was conducted to determine the cause of limited TOC removal. The results indicate that degradation by-products may not be readily biodegradable in this system.

Key words: Graywater; Wastewater treatment; Biological trickling filter; Air treatment; Surfactant; Biofilm; Biodegradation; Microorganism

Address correspondence to M. Katherine Banks, School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, 550 Stadium Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2051, USA. Tel: (765) 496-3424; Fax: (765) 496-3449; E-mail: kbanks@ecn.purdue.edu




Habitation, Vol. 11, pp. 105-122
1542-9660/07 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2007 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Inedible Biomass Biodegradation for Advanced Life Support Systems: I. Composting Reactor and Kinetics

Javier C. Ramirez-Perez, John A. Hogan, and Peter F. Strom

Department of Environmental Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA

Aerobic composting is an advanced life support system candidate technology for solid waste processing and resource recovery for long-term manned space missions. Because hardware mass, power, and volume are highly constrained in such missions, important considerations are the required product stability/maturity and the resultant processing duration (retention time). Representative inedible crop biomass collected from hydroponic plant growth systems at NASA research centers was amended with food and human waste simulant, and composted in a pilot scale (330 L) batch reactor with periodic removal for sampling and mixing. Ventilation was employed to provide oxygen and temperature feedback control. Compost samples were assessed during the 162-day processing period using a range of physical, chemical, and microbiological analyses. The composting material maintained a temperature setpoint of 53°C for more than 40 days. Volume/mass reductions achieved were 79%/67%. Fecal streptococci, used as an indicator of sanitation, decreased by 7.8 log-units. Biodegradation followed first order kinetics (k = 0.03 kg/kg-day, dry mass remaining corrected for sampling = 0.497).

Key words: Advanced life support; Composting; Enclosed composting system; Biodegradation kinetics; Solid waste; Recycling

Address correspondence to Peter F. Strom, Department of Environmental Science, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, 14 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8551, USA. Tel: (732) 932-9800, ext. 6216; Fax: (732) 932-8644; E-mail: strom@aesop.rutgers.edu




Habitation, Vol. 11, pp. 123-132
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Copyright © 2007 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Bread Baking Quality of Apogee Whole Wheat Flour

Patrick V. Veillard,1 Carmen Moraru,1 Michele H. Perchonok,2 and Jozef L. Kokini1

1Cook College, Department of Food Science and the Center for Advanced Food Technology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520, USA
2NASA-JSC/University of Houston, Mail Code SF3, NASA-Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX 77058, USA

The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) recently developed Apogee, a high-yield, short, fast growing new wheat variety, adapted to grow in confined environments for future manned space travels. Bread baking properties of whole wheat Apogee flour (WAP) were compared to two other commercial hard red spring wheat varieties: whole wheat hard red spring (WHRS), and straight-grade (commercial hard red spring, CHRS). Chemical analysis showed that WAP has high protein, free lipids, ash, pentosans, and damaged starch contents. Farinograph analyses demonstrated that WAP has high water absorption, medium dough development time, and stability. The low alveograph W value and lactic acid solvent retention capacity (SRC) of WAP indicate medium dough strength and baking quality. These findings were confirmed by small-scale baking tests, with Apogee breads having acceptable, but lower loaf volume compared to CHRS breads. Apogee bread crumb was characterized by circular gas cells, small to intermediate in size, with thick cell walls. The relatively low baking quality of WAP, in spite of its high protein content, was explained by its low protein quality (low percentage of high molecular weight glutenin subunits), which was demonstrated by Osborne protein fractionation. This study shows that Apogee wheat is relatively well adapted to bread making, but use of a whole wheat flour is a major quality-limiting factor.

Key words: Apogee whole wheat flour; Bread baking quality; Acceptability; Functionality

Address correspondence to Jozef L. Kokini, Cook College, Department of Food Science and the Center for Advanced Food Technology, Rutgers University, 65 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520, USA. E-mail: kokini@aesop.rutgers.edu




Habitation, Vol. 11, pp. 133-138
1542-9660/07 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2007 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Nitrogen Amendment Enhances Edible White Rot Fungal Growth and Biodegradation of Containerized Inedible Crop Residues

Leopold M. Nyochembeng, Caula A. Beyl, and R. P. Pacumbaba

Department of Plant and Soil Science, Alabama A&M University, Normal, AL 35762, USA

Edible white rot fungi have been proposed for selective plant biomass transformation and recycling in a sustainable advanced life support (ALS) ecology needed for extraterrestrial expeditions, such as the mission to Mars. Food waste slurry was incorporated into artificial fungal culture media to test for strain tolerance, while urea and food waste were amended in processed wheat and rice straw, as sources of N, to enhance fungal growth, biodegradation, and recycling of the crop wastes. Mycelial growth in food waste-amended artificial culture media decreased with an increase in food waste concentration, while tolerance to high food waste concentration under these conditions was species dependent. Pleurotus ostreatus "Grey Dove" and P. pulmonarius were most efficient in degradation when food waste was supplemented at 80% (v/v) in wheat straw. However, when both species were cocultured, addition of food waste to wheat straw did not improve degradation efficiency. Mycelial growth and colonization of P. cornucopiae "Golden Oyster" was enhanced in food waste-amended rice straw compared to growth in the control. Basidiocarp production occurred only in the amended media; however, the quantity of fruit bodies decreased with increased concentration of food waste in the amended rice straw. Enriching wheat straw with urea stimulated fruiting only in "Grey Dove" at 50-60 days after inoculation. P. ostreatus "Blue Dolphin" did not fruit in amended wheat straw despite prolific mycelial colonization of the substrate. Amending inedible crop residues with organic or mineral N at predetermined rates may enhance edible white rot fungal biodegradation of the lignocellulosic residues if tolerant strains are used.

Key words: Basidiocarp; Biodegradation; Inedible crop residue; White rot fungi

Address correspondence to Leopold M. Nyochembeng, Department of Plant and Soil Science, Alabama A&M University, P.O. Box 1208, Normal, AL 35762, USA. Tel: (256) 372-4218; Fax: (256) 372-5429; E-mail: leopold.nyochembeng@email.aamu.edu




Habitation, Vol. 11, pp. 139-147
1542-9660/07 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2007 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Dynamics of Human Urine Storage in the Early Planetary Base Wastestream

Eric McLamore, Audra Morse, and W. Andrew Jackson

Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA

Although current proposed water recovery systems in space do not incorporate biotreatment technologies, research has indicated that bioprocessors (BP) may be a potential primary treatment technology in integrated advanced life support systems for long-duration space missions. Little data have been reported on the activity of nonacidified wastewater in the collection system prior to entering water recovery systems. These reactions are vital in accurately quantifying biosystem performance, mass balances, and microbial kinetics for bioprocessors operated on dynamic wastestreams. The bioavailable dissolved organic carbon and ammonium concentrations of storage tank grab samples may vary by up to 44 ± 9% and 81 ± 12%, respectively, in a urine-containing wastestream. A model for quantifying the average rate of microbially based holding tank activity is presented. A brief enzymatic inhibition study indicated that surfactants contained within the wastestream may be inhibiting feed tank urease activity, causing the organic carbon and ammonium variability. The aim of this research is to quantify storage tank reactions so that future bioprocessor models reflect only the activity occurring within the BP, and not that of the feed tank. Although microbially active collection vessels may be a consideration for long-duration missions, their activity should be modeled independently to avoid the "black box" approach to modeling BP dynamics. The results will aid future researchers in operating biosystems on urine-gray water wastestreams.

Key words: Human urine; Bioavailable organic carbon; Urea hydrolysis; Urease inhibition; Surfactant

Address correspondence to Eric McLamore at his current address: Research Assistant, Department of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA. Tel: (806) 239-9556; E-mail: emclamor@purdue.edu