Beneficiation and Comminution Circuit for the Production of Lunar Liquid Oxygen (LLOX)

by Larry W. Mason, Planetary Sciences Lab, Denver, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


A complete lunar beneficiation and comminution circuit has been designed that requires no air or fluid locks for feed introduction or egress, with the exception of a vapor pyrolysis station. Magnetic separation of regolith is performed only on the undersize (agglutinate containing) fraction from an initial screening operation. An optional grinding circuit is included for size reduction of the oversize. The partially magnetic fraction and ground oversize are recombined and electrostatically beneficiated to produce the ilmenite product stream enriched to 50 to 60 mass percent. Power utilization and mass throughput estimates are presented for continuous operation of a 1000 tonne/year LLOX plant operation, using appropriate portions of the complete circuit for each of several candidate LLOX processes.

Subject Headings: Moon | Power plants | Magnetic fields | Heat treatment | Space exploration | Rivers and streams | Resource management

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