Gas station on the Red Planet? A new CO2 reactor could make Martin fuel

new York:

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have used carbon dioxide in a reactor to convert carbon dioxide into methane. Known as the “Sabatier reaction” by the late French chemist Paul Sabatir, it is the process by which astronauts use carbon dioxide to clear the air and generate rocket fuel.

Martian’s atmosphere is almost entirely composed of carbon dioxide. “Once the astronauts arrive, they can save half the fuel they need on their way back home,” said Jingji Wu, an assistant professor at the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

“It’s like a gas station on Mars. With this reactor, you can easily emit carbon dioxide and produce methane for rockets, ”he said. Wu is the recycling of carbon dioxide to achieve carbon neutrality.

For the study, the team, published in the journal Nature Communications, conducted experiments that could increase the production of methane, such as graphite quantum dots – carbon nanotubes as large as nanometers.

Wu said the process is promising to mitigate climate change. But oil production is a big business.

Wu students also used a variety of stimulants to produce not only methane but also ethylene. Ethylene, the world’s most important chemical, is used in the manufacture of plastics, rubber, synthetic clothing, and other products.

Combined with carbon dioxide as a renewable energy source, it will be more commercially viable, Wu said.

“We now have too much green energy to throw away. We can store this super-renewable energy in chemicals. ”

The process can be used in power plants that can generate tons of carbon dioxide. And the conversion is effective because it can be done where excess carbon dioxide is produced.

Wu’s development of carbon dioxide makes people more confident that people will tread on Mars during their lifetime.

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