Tag Archives: water management

Recycled water

In orbital space settlements water recycling is essential. So it is quite worrisome when we read the following article on ScienceDaily:

Get over it? When it comes to recycled water, consumers won’t

To cite from this article (my emphasis):

If people are educated on recycled water, they may come to agree it’s perfectly safe and tastes as good — or better — than their drinking water. They may even agree it’s an answer to the critical water imbalance in California. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to use recycled water — and it sure doesn’t mean they’ll drink it.

The problem is that educated people are disgusted to use a perfectly safe product that is necessary for staying alive. Perhaps people should not think too much about the origin of their tap water – if education is apparently not sufficient in this case.

Waste water – again

As regular readers of this site might already know, we believe that sewage and waste water treatment should be funded through the reclamation of valuable substances. For whom is not already convinced of this, we would recommend an article on GreenBiz by Yalin Li: Waste water is an asset.

Reclaiming nutrients and other valuables from waste water would constitute a durable source of non-tax revenue for governments and will hence structurally reduce the need to impose taxes on the people.

Sewage and Algae

In the previous post I did not discuss particular technologies to purify waste water and to turn it into clean water. One way to remove minerals from waste water are algae.

As orbital space settlements will get most of the energy from solar power, there is little use for biofuel. However, algae have a lot of other useful applications. Continue reading Sewage and Algae

Sewers and Taxes

Sewers are the summit of human civilization and taxation is the price of civilization. So we are supposed to pay sewer tax, right? No, not really. In this post I will explain how space settlements could fund a sewage and waste water treatment system without having to collect sewer charges. Continue reading Sewers and Taxes

Water management in Space Settlements

Humans need water to survive, and hence a reliable water supply is essential for Space Settlements. Fortunately Near Earth Objects consist for a substantial part of water. However human and industrial consumption of water produces waste water. Though we could “dump” this into space and replace it with fresh water from NEOs, that would be quite inefficient, and it also limites the growth of Space Settlements in the long run. Consequently we need to recycle water in Space habitats.

Basically we need a closed loop in which waste water is turned back into drinkable water. Hence a reliable and preferably cheap method of water purification is essential for the successful humanization of space.

A potentially promising method seems to be found. According to this article in the Science Daily, graphene is an excellent water filter. Not only is this method fast, it is also not energy intensive, and scientists hope to be able to turn seawater into freshwater just by using a hand pump with this graphene filter in the near future.

Nowadays graphene can be produced easily, and it is an allotrope of carbon, an element very abundantly in Near Earth Asteroids.

On a side note, we could wonder whether graphene filters can be used for extracting uranium from seawater. Though the concentration of uranium in seawater is low, the total amount of uranium in the oceans far exceed to total known reserves on land. But due to the concentration of uranium in seawater many scientists believe, extraction from seawater will be impracticable, at least with current market prices.

According to the Science Daily article, graphene filters can accurately distinguish between  difference in atomic seizes. This would be important if we want to filter out uranium atoms from seawater.

Probably we would need two filters: one the filter out atoms and molecules larger than uranium, and a second filter which on let smaller atoms and molecules through. Consequently the uranium atoms will get trapped between the two filters, and with each cycle the concentration of uranium will increase.

If this procedure will be feasible, then most countries will be able to become self-sufficient in their uranium supply. Currently only a few countries dominate the world market.