April 19, 2024

Using Sunlight To Turn Astronaut Waste Into Fuel on Mars

To survive on Mars will imply optimizing use of all offered resources. A team from Spanish technological center Tekniker is dealing with a system that utilizes sunlight to produce fuel from astronaut wastewater.
Borja Pozo from Tekniker discusses: “We intend to make the very first reactor to produce space propellant on Mars using the planets air, which is 95% co2. The reactor will be powered by sunlight, and astronauts greywater will be used to assist in the production of the propellant.”.

By European Area Company (ESA).
March 24, 2022.

The photoelectrochemical system, relying on high-efficiency catalytic products to produce hydrocarbons such as methane along with carbon monoxide gas or alcohols from climatic CO2 plus wastewater. In the procedure it will also detoxify the water utilized– working as a recycling technique.
Jean-Christophe Berton, ESA technical officer for the project, includes: “The result of this activity could provide ESA with valuable input on the production of propellant on Mars or to power remote sites like ground stations on Earth. It might also potentially provide input on how to decarbonize our own environment.”.
Supported through the Discovery component of ESAs Basic Activities, the task was initiated through ESAs Open Space Innovation Platform, looking for out promising brand-new ideas for area. Discover more about this and other current OSIP activities here.