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Steady state composition with low Fe(2+) concentrations for efficient O2 production by 'magma' electrolysis of lunar soilsParameters are estimated for a hypothetical, well stirred, continuous-feed electrolytic cell that converts 20 percent of a lunar soil feedstock to O2 gas, 26 percent to Fe-Si metal, 13 percent to spinel, and 41 percent to slag. Advantages of a molten Fe-Si cathode for trapping metal on reduction, a relatively conductive steady-state composition in equilibrium with spinel (a proposed container material), and close electrodes (less than 1 cm cathode-anode distance) are discussed. To produce 1 ton of O2, about 6 MHW of energy are required for the electrolysis and IR heating within the melt, and another about 6 MHW may be introduced as waste heat through internal resistance of the electrodes. Thus, to produce 1 ton of O2 per 24 hours, about 0.5 MW of power delivered to the cell would be required.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Haskin, Larry A.
(NASA Headquarters Washington, DC United States)
Colson, Russell O.
(Washington Univ. Saint Louis, MO, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: In: Engineering, construction, and operations in space - III: Space '92; Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference, Denver, CO, May 31-June 4, 1992. Vol. 1 (A93-41976 17-12)
Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers
Subject Category
Inorganic And Physical Chemistry
Accession Number
Distribution Limits

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