Scientists Could Turns Moondust Into Oxygen

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 15:35

Scientists at European Space Agency (ESA) have been running a prototype plant that converts moon dust (currently simulated, of course) into oxygen that could be used for air and fuel.

According to the Engadget report, 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 is 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.

As that suggests, this process could have an upshot for Moon explorers by producing useful alloys to construct habitats or repair vehicles.

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