Kurita in space: the ISS will be equipped with our innovative water recycling system
Kurita Water Industries Ltd. received an order from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for the manufacture of a flight model of the company’s next generation water recycling demonstration system. This system is scheduled to be installed in the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” on the International Space Station.
Since entering a research agreement with JAXA in 2011 to study future-type water recycling systems, Kurita has conducted research on the elemental technology and treatment methods for a water recycling system that can recycle water (urine) and stably transform it into drinking water. It comprises a control and water treatment system made up of ion exchange units, electrolysis units and electrodialysis units.
To transform urine into purified drinking water, the system removes calcium and magnesium components from the urine through ion exchange, electrolyzes the organic substances using Kurita’s own special electrodes, and then removes the ions by means of electrodialysis.
It is a maintenance-free, compact and energy-efficient water recycling system that achieves a water recycling rate of 85% or more.