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Gaseous Exchange in a Closed Ecological System

Report Number: AMRL TDR 62-139
Author: London, Sheldon A.
Author: West, Arselus
Corporate Author: Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory
Laboratory: Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1962-12
Pages: 21
Contract: Laboratory Research - No Contract
Project: 7164
Task: 716403
AD Number: AD0402759

A series of experiments was performed to deter mine the feasibility of using several types of organisms to maintain a gaseous balance in a closed system. The system consisted of: (a) a photosynthetic unit comprised of cells of Chlorella pyrenoidosa strain TX 71105, (b) a biological aerobic sewage- digesting unit, (c) a unit containing an ammonia-utilizing fungus, Linderina pennispora, and (d) an animal chamber containing a white adult male rat. Although many difficulties were encountered, this bioregenerating unit could be operated under closed conditions for 390 hours. Gas analyses indicated CO2 and O2 levels can be maintained at desirable levels. Material balance within the system was not attempted. However, nitrogen analysis of the resultant fungal mass showed that data on the basic physiology of the organism is required before such a balance can seriously be attempted. The relationship between mission requirements and the level of biological complexity of a closed ecological system was discussed.

RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine
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