Mars has water but much of it is frozen and the rest is salty. The astronauts who are set to land on Mars by 2033, planned to use the saltwater to produce oxygen and fuel. A team of scientists from Washington University in St. Louise has developed this new technology to transform unusable water into fuel and oxygen.
This new technology is designed with two different outlets. One will split the water to form a hydroxyl ion as the other will spill it again to produce oxygen from it. As per the reports this modern technology is able to produce 25 times more oxygen than NASA’s MOXIE. This system will continuously work on Mars as well as could be used in the deep sea.
This system is able to break the salty water down into oxygen and hydrogen and it can operate under the harsh atmosphere of MARS at -33 degrees Fahrenheit.
As per Vijay Ramani from Washington University, “Our Martian brine electrolyzer radically changes the logistical calculus of missions to Mars and beyond.” He also added, “This technology is equally useful on Earth where it opens up the oceans as a viable oxygen and fuel source.”
A research scientist in Ramani’s group and joint first author of the paper, Mr. Shrihari Sankarasubramanian said, “Paradoxically, the dissolved perchlorate in the water, so-called impurities, actually help in an environment like that of Mars.” And “They prevent the water from freezing and also improve the performance of the electrolyzer system by lowering the electrical resistance.”
The scientists are providing their best effort to provide the required assistance so the astronauts can produce some of their own requirements on the Red Planet. Oxygen is the most important among them along with fuel for traveling back to earth or to go beyond Mars.
As per Mr. Pralay Gayen, a postdoctoral research associate in Ramani’s group as well as the joint first author on this study, “Having demonstrated these electrolyzers under demanding Martian conditions, we intend to also deploy them under much milder conditions on Earth to utilize brackish or saltwater feeds to produce hydrogen and oxygen, for example through seawater electrolysis.”
The team of scientists hopes this will provide the ability to the astronauts of exploring further by producing oxygen and fuel on neighboring planets or even on the asteroids.