Selenium coating of water distribution tubing to inhibit biofilm

Darryl Low, W. Andrew Jackson, Audra Morse, Thomas Mosley, Ted Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Microbial control in closed environmental systems, such as those of spacecraft or proposed base missions is typically limited to disinfection in the potable water system by a strong chemical agent such as iodine or chlorine. However, biofilm growth in the environmental system tubing threatens both the sterility of the potable water distribution as well as operational problems with wastewater systems. In terrestrial systems, biofilm has been recognized for its difficulty to control and eliminate as well as resulting operational problems. In order to maintain a potable water source for crew members as well as preventing operational problems in non-sterile systems, biofilm needs to be considered during system design. While biofilm controls can limit biofilm buildup, they are typically disruptive and cannot completely eliminate biofilm. Selenium coatings have shown to prevent initial biofilm attachment as well as limit attached growth on a variety of materials. Results of selenium coating silicone tubing show a significant reduction in the number of colony forming units removed from a tubing surface as a dramatic visual difference between uncoated and coated tubing.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSAE Technical Papers
StatePublished - 2008
Event38th International Conference on Environmental Systems - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 29 2008Jul 2 2008


Dive into the research topics of 'Selenium coating of water distribution tubing to inhibit biofilm'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this