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The onsite manufacture of propellant oxygen from lunar resourcesThe Aerojet carbothermal process for the manufacture of oxygen from lunar materials has three essential steps: the reduction of silicate with methane to form carbon monoxide and hydrogen; the reduction of carbon monoxide with hydrogen to form methane and water; and the electrolysis of water to form hydrogen and oxygen. The reactions and the overall process are shown. It is shown with laboratory experimentation that the carbothermal process is feasible. Natural silicates can be reduced with carbon or methane. The important products are carbon monoxide, metal, and slag. The carbon monoxide can be completely reduced to form methane and water. The water can be electrolyzed to produce hydrogen and oxygen. A preliminary engineering study shows that the operation of plants using this process for the manufacture of propellant oxygen has a large economic advantage when the cost of the plant and its operation is compared to the cost of delivering oxygen from Earth.
Document ID
19930007699
Document Type
Other
Authors
Rosenberg, Sanders D.
(Aerojet TechSystems Co. Sacramento, CA, United States)
Beegle, Robert L., Jr.
(Aerojet TechSystems Co. Sacramento, CA, United States)
Guter, Gerald A.
(Aerojet TechSystems Co. Sacramento, CA, United States)
Miller, Frederick E.
(Aerojet TechSystems Co. Sacramento, CA, United States)
Rothenberg, Michael
(Aerojet TechSystems Co. Sacramento, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Johnson Space Center, Space Resources. Volume 3: Materials
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
93N16888
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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