[Investigation of the process of personal hygiene items biodegradation by cellulose-fermenting microorganisms].


Cellulose-containing wastes are one of the heaviest and biggest ingredients of solid domestic wastes piling up during spaceflight. For the most part these are disposable personal hygiene items used in large quantities in the absence of shower. These wastes contain human body products which are very dangerous from the sanitary-epidemiological standpoint. The purpose was to explore potentiality of microbial biodegradation of cellulose-containing hygiene items anaerobically with dry mass transformation into liquid and biogas. Among specific objectives were test cultivation of active strains of reference cultures of cellulose-fermenting anaerobic thermophilic bacteria on hygiene items as the only source of carbon, evaluation of ways and need of pretreatment of gauze pads to stimulate biodegradation, and chemical analysis of resulting biogas. From the investigation it was concluded that gauze pads are susceptible to biodegradation by anaerobic bacteria producing a low toxicity gas fraction. Therefore, the proposed technology can be considered as a candidate for integration into the spacecrew life support system.

Cite this paper

@article{Ilin2004InvestigationOT, title={[Investigation of the process of personal hygiene items biodegradation by cellulose-fermenting microorganisms].}, author={V K Il'in and L V Starkov and Sergey V. Kostrov and G A Belikodvorskaia and N A Chuvil'skaia and L. N. Mukhamedieva and Kathleen Mikos}, journal={Aviakosmicheskaia i ekologicheskaia meditsina = Aerospace and environmental medicine}, year={2004}, volume={38 3}, pages={48-51} }