Membrane technologies in space


SIMEV’s partner in the most extreme scientific missions

Firmus, a long-standing partner of the Chair, has achieved the developing a membrane technology for the International Space Station.

This technology, called the Grey Water Recycling System, FGWRS, enables the recycling and treatment of grey water.
It was then used on Earth and allows the recycling of water from sinks, showers, washing clothes, dishes, cooking water, etc.

FGWRS has been helping scientists on the most extreme missions to survive by providing reliable management of drinking water at their stations since 2005.
Firmus works in collaboration with ESA (European Space Agency), Concordia Station (Antarctica) for the French Polar Institute Paul Emile Victor (IPEV) and the Italian Antarctic Research Programme (PNRA).

This technology uses a purification process based on membrane, organic and mineral techniques. Thus, it makes it possible to achieve a grey water recycling rate of between 75 and 85%.
Depending on the specifications and compliance with current health standards, the process used can provide drinking water that can be completely recycled to the sanitary network (showers and sinks).

Back to R&D project

It is back in 2012 that UNESCO SIMEV Chair, Belectrics and Firmus France carried out a social project in Morocco.

The installation of a pilot treatment station using membrane technology and renewable energy in a high school provides quality drinking water to more than 1,000 students.

Astronaut Thomas Pesquet explains the role of membrane technologies

On board the International Space Station, Thomas PESQUET talks about FIRMUS partnership with European Space Agency, their past and present achievements and future work within the MELISSA project.