Data on Water and Sanitation
Original Title: Non-Thermal Sanitation By Atmospheric Pressure Plasma, Phase I
ORBITEC proposes to develop a non-thermal technology based on atmospheric-pressure (AP) cold plasma to sanitize foods, food packaging materials, and other hardware and working surfaces that are encountered during food processing in space vehicles or habitats. AP plasma is well known to be highly effective in promoting oxidation, enhancing molecular dissociation, and producing free radicals and other types of high energies. It has recently attracted much attention in food industry due to its potential of being a non-thermal and highly effective sanitation method. The proposed technology will support sanitation of food preparation surfaces and equipment, food storage containers, and surface sanitation of delivered fresh fruit and vegetables, and freshly prepared foods in a space based habitat. It can function in reduced gravity and pressure environments, and is efficient in terms of waste and resource use. It may also have applications in air and water purification, allowing some sharing of components and training procedures. During this Phase I effort, two different reactor designs will be built and tested. Their performance will be evaluated on tomato, lettuce, Teflon, and/or other non-food substrates, all of which will be inoculated with Salmonella enterica.