Date of Award

Spring 5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Joan Lynam


Water management has always been a critical issue facing lunar missions, since its uses are as numerous as they are vital. Using ionic liquids has been proposed for the purpose of processing the metal oxides in lunar regolith into oxygen and metals. The process used dilutes the ionic liquid. Recycling the ionic liquid solution after regolith processing is essential to reduce materials required in resupply missions and to supply oxygen. Water will also be needed for lunar farms to both grow food and assist in maintaining a habitable atmosphere. The use of direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) technology is a method of water purification that was tested for viability in both concentrating ionic liquid streams and in hydroponic salt based nutrient streams. It was found that the ability of PTFE and PVDF based polymer membranes to separate solutes from water held potential in concentrating aqueous solutions and in recovering water from aqueous solutions. This was tested using a bench scale DCMD system to perform the operation at the temperatures of 50 ℃, 65 ℃, and 80 ℃. The results were tested using UV-Visible spectroscopy to determine concentrations. Through this method, the benefits and limitations of PTFE and PVDF membranes were found when operating at various temperatures with either aqueous ionic liquid solution or simulated hydroponic nutrient solutions.