|Title||Plasmas for in-situ resource utilization on Mars: fuels, life-support and agriculture|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2022|
|Authors||V. Guerra, T. Silva, N. Pinhao, O. Guaitella, C. Guerra-Garcia, F.J.J Peeters, M.N. Tsampas, M.C.M van de Sanden|
|Journal||Journal of Applied Physics|
This work discusses the potential of combining non-thermal plasmas and conducting membranes for in situ resource utilization (ISRU) on Mars. By converting different molecules directly from the Martian atmosphere, plasmas can create the necessary feed-stock and base chemicals for processing fuels, breathing oxygen, building materials, and fertilizers. Different plasma sources operate according to different principles and are associated with distinct dominant physicochemical mechanisms. This diversity allows exploring different energy transfer pathways leading to CO2 dissociation, including direct electron-impact processes, plasma chemistry mediated by vibrationally and electronically excited states, and thermally driven dissociation. The coupling of plasmas with membranes is still a technology under development, but a synergistic effect between plasma decomposition and oxygen permeation across conducting membranes is anticipated. The emerging technology is versatile, scalable, and has the potential to deliver high rates of production of molecules per kilogram of instrumentation sent to space. Therefore, it will likely play a very relevant role in future ISRU strategies.
|Alternate Title||J. Appl. Phys.|
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