Researchers at Nanjing University are using lunar soil to produce oxygen and fuel

Researchers at Nanjing University are using lunar soil to produce oxygen and fuel

Materials researchers at the University of Nanjing have recently published a study revealing that lunar soils contain compounds capable of converting carbon dioxide emitted by human respiration into oxygen and fuel. To prove it, they analyzed and used soil from the moon and returned the spacecraft Chang’E 5In addition, different chemicals were tested using water, CO2, sunlight, and lunar soil.

Research results published in Jul, A lunar base camp with oxygen, water, fuel and electricity produced on the moon itself makes it more likely that astronauts will spend longer. This quest for self-sufficiency has both goals Artemis Program NASA, as planned by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Chinese space agency (CNSA).

Design of a permanent base on the moon

Other resources

“We are proposing an extraterrestrial photosynthesis path that may be available on the moon, which will enable us to achieve a ‘zero energy consumption’ alien life support system,” the scientists said in their research.

Alien photosynthesis

Researchers have discovered a series of compounds in lunar soil that have chemical reactions, and they have tested their effectiveness in converting carbon dioxide and water into oxygen, methane, methanol, and solar radiation.

At the base of the moon, carbon dioxide is released from the air we breathe in and out, and water is extracted. From the surface of the satellite. and then? Different strategies can be applied using lunar soil rich with potential catalysts to mediate reactions under certain conditions, such as sunlight, electricity (produced by solar panels), and temperature.

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Suggestion for using resources on a lunar basis

Suggestion for using resources on a lunar basis

Mario Chaparro, The Vanguard

“We use environmental resources In place To reduce rocket payload, our strategy offers an environment conducive to sustainable and affordable extraterrestrial life, “Yao said in a press release on the research.

Convert carbon dioxide into water, oxygen and hydrocarbons

Production of hydrogen gas and oxygen by electrolysis, electrodes made from the moon’s soil, immersed in water extracted from the moon’s base, and connected to a solar panel that provides electricity. At the base of the moon, oxygen goes to respiration.

The astronauts, on the other hand, store dehydrogen gas along with carbon dioxide from the bottom in the exhaust air. Both compounds can be converted into hydrocarbons, such as methane CH4 and methanol CH3OH, in contact with the Moon’s soil and at daytime solar radiation at 124º C.

Nanjing University team holds samples of moon soil

Nanjing University team holds samples of moon soil

Yingfang Yao

The researchers designed and tested their model in the laboratory, and although they were able to produce oxygen, fuel, and methanol, the yield was poor. As they comment on their research, future research will improve the efficiency of chemical reactions by adding pre-stages of lunar soil purification or treatment.


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