Novel Process for Enhanced Lunar Oxygen Recovery

Date

2001

Authors

Welham, N

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Kluwer Academic Publishers

Abstract

The generally accepted method for recovering oxygen on an extraterrestrial body is by thermal reduction of indigenous minerals, the most amenable of which is ilmenite, FeTiO3. Thermodynamic modelling shows that carbon is a more effective reductant than hydrogen. In this paper the effect of extended ball milling on the carbothermic reduction of a terrestrial beach sand derived ilmenite is examined. The rate of oxygen recovery into the gas phase is substantially faster for powders milled together and a concomitent lowering of onset temperature is also noted. XRD examination of the final powders indicate that reduction of ilmenite proceeds via elemental iron and rutile which is then further reduced to sub-oxides. The presence of nitrogen, or excess carbon, leads to vastly greater oxygen recovery due to the formation of titanium nitride or carbide with complete release of oxygen from the mineral achieved in 1 h at 1200°C.

Description

Keywords

Keywords: Ball milling; Carbon; Composition effects; Ilmenite; Iron compounds; Mathematical models; Nitrogen; Recovery; Reduction; Thermal effects; Thermodynamic properties; X ray powder diffraction; Carbothermic reduction; Indigenous minerals; Lunar oxygen recover

Citation

Source

Journal of Materials Science

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1023/A:1017541427395

Restricted until

2037-12-31