Contrails
The goal of the Contrails project is to help preserve and disseminate the technical record of 20th century aerospace research, highlighting in particular the research endeavors of the Illinois Tech community.

Analysis of Electrolysis Cell-Fuel Cell Method of Recovering Potable Water from Urine (Project ELF)

Report Number: AMRL TDR 63-32
Author: William H. Tolliver
Corporate Author: General Electtic Company
Laboratory: Biomedical Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1963-04
Pages: 92
Contract: AF 33(657)-7667
Project: 6373
Task: 637304
PB Number: PB117098
AD Number: AD0407000

Abstract:
A program of study and applied research was conducted to determine the feasibility of combining an ion exchange membrane electrolysis cell and an ion exchange membrane fuel cell so that oxygen and hydrogen which are electrolyzed from human urine recombine in the fuel cell to yield potable water and power. The latter, in turn, will satisfy some of the power require ents of the electrolyll. The experimental laboratory systems were synthesized from latest ion-exchange membrane technology, and produced water that is both chemically and bacteriologically well within limits of the 1961 U.S. Public Health Standards for Drinking Water. The system has high yield (98% of available water content), long operating life (37 days plus), and produces usable low-voltage electrical power. The electrolysis cell output also provides for a high-purity (to 99.5%) emergency oxygen capability. The design is basically a zero-G type, inherently providing separation of vapor and liquid. Trade-off evaluations indicate that the ELF System is competitive with other water-recovery systems presently being developed for space applications. Characteristic features of a three-man system are: weight 67 pounds; volume, 1. 6 cubic feet; and power consumption, 650 watts for continuous operation. The flexibility, reliability, and overall simplicity of the ELF system make this water recovery technique a strong contender for future space applications.


Provenance:
RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine
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