Mass balances for a biological life support system simulation model

Tyler Volk, John D. Rummel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Design decisions to aid the development of future space-based biological life support systems (BLSS) can be made with simulation models. Here we develop the biochemical stoichiometry for 1) protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber, and lignin production in the edible and inedible parts of plants; 2) food consumption and production of organic solids in urine, feces, and wash water by the humans; and 3) operation of the waste processor. Flux values for all components are derived for a steady-state system with wheat as the sole food source. The large-scale dynamics of a materially-closed (BLSS) computer model is described in a companion paper /1/. An extension of this methodology can explore multi-food systems and more complex biochemical dynamics while maintaining whole-system closure as a focus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Mass balances for a biological life support system simulation model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this