A Modified Sulfate Process to Lunar Oxygen

by Thomas A. Sullivan, NASA, Houston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


A modified sulfate process which produces oxygen from iron oxide-bearing minerals in lunar soil is under development. Reaction rates of ilmenite in varying strength sulfuric acid have been determined. Quantitative conversion of ilmenite to ferrous sulfate was observed over a range of temperatures and concentrations. Data has also been developed on the calcination of by-product sulfates. System engineering for overall operability and simplicity has begun, suggesting that a process separating the digestion and sulfate dissolution steps may offer an optimum process.

Subject Headings: Sulfates | Moon | Oxygen | Systems engineering | Lunar materials | Chemical processes | Resource management | Minerals

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