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Chinese materials scientists have discovered that the soil on the moon can potentially generate oxygen and fuel They say this discovery indicates more tempting possibilities for using lunar resources for further exploration of man on the moon or beyond, Xinhua reports.
Researchers from Nanjing University said that a lunar sample delivered by China's Chang'e-5 probe contains active compounds that can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and fuel.
According to a study published in the journal Joule, Initially, scientists hope to develop a system that will take advantage of the lunar soil and solar radiation – the two most abundant resources on the moon.
After analyzing the lunar soil mined by Chang'e 5, the research team found that the sample contains substances rich in iron and titanium, which can act as a catalyst to produce oxygen using sunlight and carbon dioxide.
A team of scientists proposed a strategy for using lunar soil to electrolyze water from the moon and life support systems for astronauts using oxygen and hydrogen. The process is powered by sunlight. According to the study, the carbon dioxide exhaled by the inhabitants of the moon can be collected and combined with hydrogen to produce fuel methane, also catalyzed by the lunar soil.
According to the researchers, using this method no external energy other than sunlight will be used to produce oxygen and fuel to sustain life on the lunar base.
“We plan to use local environmental resources to minimize the rocket payload. And our strategy proposes a scenario for a sustainable and accessible extraterrestrial habitat”, – said the author of the article, Yao Yingfan from Nanjing University.
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