The production of oxygen and metal from lunar regolith
Schwandt, C. and Hamilton, J.A. and Fray, D.J. and Crawford, Ian (2012) The production of oxygen and metal from lunar regolith. Planetary and Space Science 74 (1), pp. 49-56. ISSN 0032-0633.
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.
|Keyword(s) / Subject(s):||In-situ resource utilisation, ISRU, Moon, Lunar geology, Oxygen production, Molten salts, Electrochemistry, FFC-Cambridge process|
|School:||Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences|
|Date Deposited:||10 Sep 2012 10:23|
|Last Modified:||08 Jun 2016 09:57|
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