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Extraction processes for the production of aluminum, titanium, iron, magnesium, and oxygen and nonterrestrial sourcesThe suitability of existing terrestrial extractive metallurgical processes for the production of Al, Ti, Fe, Mg, and O2 from nonterrestrial resources is examined from both thermodynamic and kinetic points of view. Carbochlorination of lunar anorthite concentrate in conjunction with Alcoa electrolysis process for Al; carbochlorination of lunar ilmenite concentrate followed by Ca reduction of TiO2; and subsequent reduction of Fe2O3 by H2 for Ti and Fe, respectively, are suggested. Silicothermic reduction of olivine concentrate was found to be attractive for the extraction of Mg becaue of the technological knowhow of the process. Aluminothermic reduction of olivine is the other possible alternative for the production of magnesium. The large quantities of carbon monoxide generated in the metal extraction processes can be used to recover carbon and oxygen by a combination of the following methods: (1) simple disproportionation of CO,(2) methanation of CO and electrolysis of H2O, and (3) solid-state electrolysis of gas mixtures containing CO, CO2, and H2O. The research needed for the adoption of earth-based extraction processes for lunar and asteroidal minerals is outlined.
Document ID
19790024069
Document Type
Other
Authors
Rao, D. B. (Lawrence Berkeley Lab. Milwaukee, United States)
Choudary, U. V. (Wisconsin Univ. Milwaukee, United States)
Erstfeld, T. E. (Lunar Science Inst. Houston, TX, United States)
Williams, R. J. (Wisconsin Univ.)
Chang, Y. A. (NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center)
Date Acquired
August 9, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1979
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Ames Res. Center Space Resources and Space Settlements
Subject Category
ASTRONAUTICS (GENERAL)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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