Bioclear earth developed a biological air filter for the aerospace industry

Houston, we have a problem

To make it possible for astronauts to stay in space for a longer period of time, many technological developments are necessary. Take, for instance, the air supply for the crew. A space ship is a sealed system in which air pollution can easily build up. The air treatment system must comply with the highest safety and quality standards, because when hazardous substances in the air accumulate the astronauts can’t just open a window.

To avoid this problem in a sustainable way, ESA asked us to develop a biological air filter for manned space stations, which treats the air with bacteria. Bioclear earth developed a system that breaks down the pollution in the air to water and CO2: two compounds that can be reused on board of the space station. It’s a living system that reflects natures constant reuse of resources.

The good, the bad and the ugly

As in any living system there is always a risk of  “bad bacteria” growing along side the “good” ones.

To counter this problem Bioclear earth developed a screening method, which allows the astronauts to quickly and easily detect harmful bacteria in the filter. For these tests Bioclear earth designed a method that uses DNA-analysis.

Our space adventure brought us a lot of knowledge that can be used for application on earth. As a result a new Bioclear spin-off company was founded: Bioclear Microbial Analysis. Microbial analysis uses microbial analysis techniques to detect for instance good and bad bacteria in water and soil and to detect biological corrosion.

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Sytze Keuning
CEO and founder