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Magnetic beneficiation of lunar soilsWe will present a review of recent laboratory results obtained in dry magnetic separation of one gram samples of the minus 1 mm size fraction of five lunar soils of widely differing maturities. Two highland soils were investigated as potential sources of low iron content feed stocks for space manufacture of metals, including aluminum, silicon, and calcium. Pure anorthite was separated from the diamagnetic fraction of immature highland regolith. Three high titanium mare soils were investigated as potential sources of ilmenite for production of hydrogen and for recovery of He-3. Ilmenite and pyroxene were separated from the paramagnetic fractions of the mare basalts. Agglutinates and other fused soil components containing metallic iron were separated from the strongly magnetic fractions of all soils. We will present conceptual magnetic separation flow sheets developed from the laboratory data and designed for production of anorthite from highland soils and for production of ilmenite from mare soils. Using these flow sheets, we will discuss problems and opportunities associated with the magnetic separation of lunar soils. Separation of high-grade anorthite or other diamagnetic components at moderately high recovery can be achieved in processing immature highland soils. Further, while magnet weight is always an issue in magnetic separation technology, recent developments in both low temperature and high temperature superconductivity present unusual opportunities for magnet design specific to the lunar environment.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Mckay, D. S
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Oder, R. R.
(Exportech Co., Inc. New Kensington, PA., United States)
Graf, J.
(Michigan Technological Univ. Houghton., United States)
Taylor, L. A.
(Tennessee Univ. Knoxville., United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: Arizona Univ., Proceedings of the Lunar Materials Technology Symposium
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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