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Synthesis of Sol-Gel Precursors for Ceramics from Lunar and Martian Soil SimularsRecent NASA mission plans for the human exploration of our Solar System has set new priorities for research and development of technologies necessary to enable a long-term human presence on the Moon and Mars. The recovery and processing of metals and oxides from mineral sources on other planets is under study to enable use of ceramics, glasses and metals by explorer outposts. We report initial results on the production of sol-gel precursors for ceramic products using mineral resources available in martian or lunar soil. The presence of SO2, TiO2, and Al2O3 in both martian (44 wt.% SiO2, 1 wt.% TiO2, 7 wt.% Al2O3) and lunar (48 wt.% SiO2, 1.5 wt.% TiO2, 16 wt.% Al2O3) soils and the recent developments in chemical processes to solubilize silicates using organic reagents and relatively little energy indicate that such an endeavor is possible. In order to eliminate the risks involved in the use of hydrofluoric acid to dissolve silicates, two distinct chemical routes are investigated to obtain soluble silicon oxide precursors from lunar and martian soil simulars. Clear solutions of sol-gel precursors have been obtained by dissolution of silica from lunar soil similar JSC-1 in basic ethylene glycol (C2H4(OH)2) solutions to form silicon glycolates. Similarly, sol-gel solutions produced from martian soil simulars reveal higher contents of iron oxides. Characterization of the precursor molecules and efforts to further concentrate and hydrolyze the products to obtain gel materials will be presented for evaluation as ceramic precursors.
Document ID
20050060679
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Sibille, L. (BAE Systems Analytical Solutions, Inc. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Gavira-Gallardo, J. A. (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas)
Hourlier-Bahloul, D. (Limoges Univ. France)
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Meeting Information
Space Resource Roundtable Conference(Golden, CO)
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAS8-02096
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other