Contaminant Robust System for Oxygen Production from Lunar Regolith
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3481 E. Michigan Street, Tucson, AZ, 85714
AbstractThe necessity of oxygen for consumption by human inhabitants on the lunar surface is readily apparent. NASA is pursuing several ways to generate oxygen from lunar regolith and reduce reliance on Earth for consumable re-supply. The most mature method is via hydrogen reduction. Paragon SDC proposes an innovative method for removing the problematic acidic contaminates from the water vapor compound released during the first stage of the hydrogen reduction process. This innovation also includes a subsequent high temperature water electrolysis technology that is insensitive to dissolved ions, should they persist beyond the acid scrubber. The final product of this system could essentially produce a source of oxygen using almost only in situ resources including lunar regolith (assumed to contain trace amounts of hydrogen) and sunlight. The process could be built to require very little crew interaction and is planned to be highly resistive to harsh chemical interactions. Further, the high temperature electrolysis proposed produces pure, dry oxygen making it a very appealing solution to the challenges facing ISRU programs in generating oxygen from lunar regolith.
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