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The lunar octopus contains oxygen and finds how to extract it.



The astronauts will be able to breathe into the moon when they are descending all the way, and to the ground they need to draw the oxygen from the lunar regolith, suggest a study recently published in the journal Planetary and Space Science. A group of British chemists and technologists have performed the necessary calculations to make this octopus-to-gas conversion feasible, in the process of simultaneously obtaining a useful metal alloy.

Thanks to the women betrayed to the Tierra by the lunar missions of the twentieth century, both American and Soviet, oxygen is known to abound in the lunar moon. Between 40 and 45% of the regolith mass is oxygen, something that suits you the most abundant component in weight.

The team performed an electrolytic deoxidation pressure on a simulator of this regolith and offered "the first in-depth study" as it was reduced. The analysis of the metallic octopus resulting from the 96% of total oxygen is successfully extracted, while only some of it is detected in the residual gas, but the rest is lost through corrosion of the container.

Electrolysis and its alternative but hot

This is a "direct processing of octopus into octopus", explains the chemistry Bethany Lomax of the University of Glasgow in Scotland, the lead author of the studio, as I commented on this issue to the European Space Agency (ESA). However, alternative methods will yield significantly poorer yields and will require the regolith to melt at extreme temperatures of less than 1,600 ° C.

In the British experiment, the regolyte mix with calcium chloride (the electrolyte) is heated to approximately 950 ° C, a temperature that does not melt the material. Luego applied an electric current for 50 hours. The 75% of the oxygen was detached in the first 15 hours of the pregnancy.

From expensive to sostenible

The researcher admits that the reaction converts this oxygen into an "extremely expensive resource", but also generates metals, metal oxides and glass (from silicon present in the compounds). This pod of simultaneous extraction could rotten provide the sustainability needed al proceso.

ESA's lunar strategy officer James Carpenter, who did not participate in the study, estimates that technology "would give lunar colonists both access to oxygen and fuel and life support." a wide range of metallic alloys for in situ manufacturing ".

The predominant metals in the connections are the calcareous, hierarchical and aluminum in different proportions and sometimes with the smallest canticles of other mixed metals. This discovery means that the proposed method could have even sense if it is possible to extract oxygen from the water reserves that it expects to find in the Luna.

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