Kinetic Interpretations of First Reactivity Experiments on Lunar Basalt Samples

by M. A. Gibson,
C. W. Knudsen,
D. J. Brueneman,
H. Kanamori,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


For the first time, water/oxygen production from Apollo program lunar samples has been experimentally demonstrated. The experiments gave extremely encouraging results as all ilmenite was reduced in every experiment. Water production was followed continuously during reduction, and these data were analyzed kinetically. Quantitatively, the data were best represented by a shrinking-core process in which both chemical reaction and diffusion play significant roles. Reaction rate showed only a 0.15 order dependence on hydrogen concentration and rate and diffusion constants were such that lunar ilmenite were initially about twice as reactive as terrestrial ilmenites. Experimental procedures, results, and analysis techniques are presented.

Subject Headings: Moon | Chemical processes | Kinetics | Diffusion (chemical) | Aerospace engineering | Water supply systems | Water supply

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