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Ionic Liquid Facilitated Recovery of Metals and Oxygen from RegolithRegolith, being largely composed of metal oxides, has the potential to be an excellent in situ source of metals, such as iron, nickel and aluminum, as well as oxygen. There is, however, no current technology that is suited for the in space separation of metal oxides into their constituent elements. Terrestrial methods require large volumes/masses of hazardous reagents. Alternative methods, such as molten oxide electrolysis, have been investigated, but these processes generally require high temperatures to operate. Such a requirement imposes significant material compatibility restraints, necessitates high energy inputs, and may pose a threat to the health and safety of the crew. This paper discusses a novel process that uses ionic liquids (ILs) to recover high purity metals and oxygen from regolith and meteorite materials. ILs are organic salts that are molten at or near room temperature, and can have a number of attractive properties including wide liquidus ranges and high thermal and electrochemical stability. The structure of an IL can be readily modified to tune these properties, allowing the synthesis of task specific ILs. Together, these attributes give ILs great utility in a number of space related areas, such environmental control and life support, in space repair and manufacture, and in situ resource utilization.
Document ID
20180006392
Acquisition Source
Marshall Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Karr, Laurel J.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Curreri, Peter A.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Thornton, Gary S.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Depew, Kevin E.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Vankeuren, John M.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Regelman, Matthew
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Fox, Eric T.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Marone, Matthew J.
(Mercer Univ. Macon, GA, United States)
Donovan, David N.
(Qualis Corp. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Paley, Mark S.
(AZ Technology, Inc. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
October 17, 2018
Publication Date
September 17, 2018
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
M18-6513
Meeting Information
Meeting: AIAA Space Forum
Location: Orlando, FL
Country: United States
Start Date: September 17, 2018
End Date: September 19, 2018
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Public Use Permitted.
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