Blog

Jan 19, 2020

ESA opens plant that turns moondust into oxygen

Posted by in categories: energy, space

If humans are going to have a long-term presence on the Moon, they’re going to need breathable air and rocket fuel — and the ESA might just have a way to create both using the Moon itself. The agency is running a prototype plant that converts moondust (currently simulated, of course) into oxygen that could be used for air and fuel. The technique unlocks the high amounts of oxygen in regolith using molten salt electrolysis that superheats the dust and migrates the oxygen along the salt until it’s collected at an anode. The basic process has already been used for metal and alloy production, but the ESA tweaked it to ensure oxygen was available to measure.

Leave a reply