Saturday, October 16

A CO2 reactor to produce fuel on Mars | Digital Trends Spanish

An investigation carried out by the University of Cincinnati, tries to convert greenhouse gases into fuel to be able to return to Earth from Mars.

As part of this work, the team in charge has developed a carbon catalyst in a reactor to convert carbon dioxide into methane.

This is the same process the International Space Station uses to remove carbon dioxide from the air astronauts breathe and generate rocket fuel to keep the station in high orbit.

The researchers want to take advantage of the fact that the Martian atmosphere is made up almost entirely of carbon dioxide.

In this way, astronauts could save half the fuel they need for a trip home.

JPL-Caltech / NASA

“It is like a gas station on Mars. You could easily pump carbon dioxide through this reactor and produce methane for a rocket, “the scientists say.

The team is experimenting with different catalysts such as graphene quantum dots, which are layers of carbon just nanometers in size, that can increase methane yield.

This process could also help reduce the effects of climate change, but it also offers a commercial advantage in the production of fuel as a by-product.

“The process is 100 times more productive than it was just 10 years ago. So we can imagine that progress will come faster and faster. In the next 10 years, we will have many start-ups to commercialize this technique, ”the authors say in a statement.

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