MinMars/ISRU

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In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) involves the use of resources found or manufactured at Mars in order to reduce the mission's dependency on supplies from Earth and improve living and working conditions at the outpost.

Repository of Working Models

http://svn.developspace.net/svn/minmars/users/arthur/ISRU/

Possible ISRU Processes

The following processes have been identified as providing potential benefit for a Mars toehold outpost.


Atmospheric CO2 Compression

  • Process description: compression of Martian atmosphere (mostly CO2)
  • Scaling values (based on NASA Mars DRM 1.0):
    • Mass requirement: 3 kg equipment / kg CO2 per day (System is assumed to include thermal control equipment)
    • Power requirement: 15 We / kg CO2 per day
    • Volume requirement: ???

Buffer Gas Extraction

  • Process description: ???
  • Scaling values (based on NASA Mars DRM 1.0):
    • Mass requirement: 3 kg equipment / kg N2 per day (System is assumed to include thermal control equipment)
    • Power requirement: 15 We / kg N2 per day
    • Volume requirement: ???

Sabatier Process

  • Chemical reaction: CO2 + 4 H2 <-> CH4 + 2 H2O
  • Scaling values (based on NASA Mars DRM 1.0):
    • Mass requirement: 22 kg equipment / kg H2O per day (System is assumed to include thermal control equipment)
    • Power requirement: 50 We / kg H2O per day
    • Volume requirement: ???

Reverse Water Gas Shift

  • Chemical Reaction: CO2 + H2 <-> H2O + CO
  • Scaling values: ???

CO2 Electrolysis

  • Chemical Reaction: CO2 <-> O2 + CO
  • Scaling Values (based on NASA Mars DRM 1.0):
    • Mass requirement: 40 kg equipment / kg O2 per day (System is assumed to include thermal control equipment)
    • Power requirement: 1190 We / kg O2 per day
    • Volume Requirement: ???

H2O Electrolysis

  • Chemical reaction: 2 H2O <-> O2 + 2 H2
  • Scaling Values: ???

Ethylene Synthesis

  • Chemical reaction: 2 CO + 4 H2 <-> C2H4 + 2 H20
    • RWGS as precursor reaction
  • Scaling values: ???

See also: Ethylene

Soil Water Extraction

  • Process description:
    • Transparent tent is used as greenhouse to heat surface soil to evaporate water in soil
    • Water is condensed at cold plate in tent and collected
    • Soil water content of 3% (by mass) assumed
  • Scaling values:
    • Mass Requirement: 1 kg equipment / kg H2O per day (based on Case for Mars, Ch 7) (System is assumed to include thermal control equipment)
    • Power Requirement: 500 We / kg H2O per day (this is an estimate)
    • Volume Requirement: ???

Proposed ISRU architectures

ISRU architecture #1
ISRU architecture #1
ISRU architecture #2
ISRU architecture #2