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The production of oxygen and metal from lunar regolith

Schwandt, C. and Hamilton, J.A. and Fray, D.J. and Crawford, Ian A. (2012) The production of oxygen and metal from lunar regolith. Planetary and Space Science 74 (1), pp. 49-56. ISSN 0032-0633.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2012.06.011

Abstract

The present article summarises the various methods that have been, and still are, explored for the production of oxygen from lunar materials. These include the classical concepts based on chemical reduction with hydrogen or methane, vapour phase pyrolysis, sulphuric acid treatment, and molten oxide electrolysis. Our main focus in this paper is on a novel approach developed at the University of Cambridge that employs molten salt electrochemistry to achieve the combined winning of oxygen and metal from solid lunar materials of varying composition. This makes the Cambridge process attractive because it will work equally well in mare as in highland regions. We also discuss the implications of the recent apparent discovery of water ice at the poles of the Moon and conclude that, even if this discovery is confirmed, it will nevertheless be desirable to provide oxygen at non-polar localities, and the Cambridge process is a strong candidate for achieving this.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): In-situ resource utilisation, ISRU, Moon, Lunar geology, Oxygen production, Molten salts, Electrochemistry, FFC-Cambridge process
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2012 10:23
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:24
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/5075

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