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#26 2017-01-09 21:34:07

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,668
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Re: Atmospheric Separations

I have used this website by a company called "Air Liquide". They recently changed it to have more glitzy graphics. I don't like that.
Gas Encyclopedia

They're in the business of atmospheric separations.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2017-04-11 21:25:36)

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#27 2017-01-09 21:45:24

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 2,952

Re: Atmospheric Separations

Since I have had two responses I will counter respond.

Spacenut.  There is strong speculation that life on Mars can and always could have obtained energy from the trace O2 and CO in the Martian atmosphere.  How such life would get water that was not too salty or cold, is another matter.  It is not out of the question.  I could talk some speculation on it.  However, the truth is the "Bread of Heaven" does actually exist in the Martian atmosphere.  The only question is, "By what effective and economical process might we tap into it?".

I am not certain that I have the whole thing yet, but I think we are steps closer.

Artificial photolysis may add to what can be gathered from natural photolysis, but that is also an underdeveloped/unproven thing.

But yes there are bacteria on Earth that can "Eat" CO, and breath O2.
With artificial supplemental photolysis, the molecules H2 and Methane may be added as "Food" for the microbial "Crops".

This will take more time and effort, but the path seems good.

I will have a look at that Robert.  Pretty tired by now tonight though, so later.  Thanks.

Last edited by Void (2017-01-09 21:48:32)


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#28 2017-01-10 19:29:11

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Re: Atmospheric Separations

I do believe that early life was shared between the planets of Venus, Earth And Mars.... Of which we have Earths live in very extreeme conditions and this may also be the case for Mars and Venus as well. We can bring controlled life for this end to be achieved but we will need to proceed with great care.....

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#29 2017-01-10 19:39:43

Oldfart1939
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Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,598

Re: Atmospheric Separations

If one remembers that bacteria are PLANTS, and could have synthesized a crude chlorophyll-like pigment...respiration in a carbon dioxide atmosphere was thus possible. I believe elsewhere Robert alluded to a Bacterio-rhodopsin being a possibility, such as Halobacterium Holobium which still contains Bacterio-rhodopsin.

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#30 2017-01-10 20:45:36

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 2,952

Re: Atmospheric Separations

I am glad you guys are active on this.  Figuring out how simple life might live on Mars, may help us figure out how to tap into similar methods.  If you don't mind I will collect some items, and briefly explain why I think they might matter.

Earth: Giant Squid biocompatibility with Ammonia.
http://www.molluscs.at/cephalopoda/inde … squid.html
Quote:

Giant squids are often said to effuse a disgusting smell of ammonia. That is because giant squids are among those squid species that keep ammonia in the muscular tissue to enhance buoyancy. It is assumed that giant squids can float in the water that way, without having to invest muscle power. So for humans giant squids are indigestible. The contrary is fact, however, with sperm whales

So if there was or is Martian life, it is not impossible that it could synthesize Ammonia into it's tissues as an antifreeze.  On Earth biological antifreezes often are proteins, but I am just saying that Ammonia might be another avenue, since apparently some organisms can tolerate it in their tissues.

Fish use this to deal with salty water, up to a point:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osmoregulation
(Urea)  No fancy quotes here, but I do believe that fish retain urea to counteract salty water and stay hydrated.  I also think that Urea is a bit of an antifreeze as well.

A Carbon Monoxide eating organism, speculation on Mars also:
http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/m … -monoxide/
Quote:

According to Gary King, a biologist at Louisiana State University, the surprising answer could be a scentless, atmospheric gas: carbon monoxide. In a new study in the science journal PNAS, King has concluded that enough of the gas seeps into Mars's soil from the planet's atmosphere to feed hearty lifeforms. Such organisms which could look like Alkalilimnicola ehrlichii, a carbon monoxide-munching microbe found in California in 2007.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkalilimnicola_ehrlichii

Salt Pans on Mars, historical thinking:
http://www.zmescience.com/science/geolo … -10082015/
http://www.space.com/5150-newly-martian … -life.html

The internet is getting to be a stupid thing where what you want is not available because other things with similar descriptions get in the way.

I will just say it.  Their are salt pans in the mid latitudes of the southern hemisphere of Mars.  According to articles I have read, seasonally for some salts, the temperatures and humidity are compatible for life.
This is not the article, but it is interesting.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/2 … 64740.html

The freeze thaw cycles of Mars may also help to support life.  Suppose you had a slate like rock lying flat on soil with salt under it.  When cold the salt may attract water and make brine.  (This is an iffy proposition).  During the day, the slate being heated with sunlight, may be able to melt the brine.  The next night the brine pocket freezing ice crystals on the bottom of the slate would form, pushing out salt.  The saltier brine would be pushed downwards.  The next day, the slate would warm up, and the less salty brine immediately under it's surface would thaw first.  If it is less than 10 times as salty as sea water, and rises to say -10 degF in temperature, it could support micro-organisms which would eat CO, and breath O2 in their trace amounts.

This is similar to how the Arctic ice pack generates drinkable water on it's top by the repeated freeze thaw of sea water ice.

So, I speculate that indeed Mars is habitable today.

However, I also believe that Mars may have had periods of time when the atmosphere almost completely froze out.  In such conditions if prolonged, surface life may have gone extinct, but deep aquafers may still have life.  However some people think that aquifers on Mars would be too salty for life.  And of course deep aquifers would not have CO and O2 and would not have a freeze thaw cycle.

However other things could generate food for them underground, but if the aquifer is too salty, then no life at all on Mars now.

I am thinking that presently the lights are on, but no-body is home.  They may all be extinct because periodically Mars is even more hostile than it is now.

Last edited by Void (2017-01-10 21:21:54)


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#31 2017-01-10 21:23:29

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 2,952

Re: Atmospheric Separations

Just one more thing though.

If there was/is life, that used Ammonia and Urea, then the remnants of that metabolism might be represented in compounds containing Nitrogen underground locked up because of the utility of organisms on Mars using Ammonia and Urea.

Sorry for so much blabbing, but you seem like people I can test these ideas on.

Last edited by Void (2017-01-10 21:24:12)


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#32 2017-02-14 22:55:32

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 2,952

Re: Atmospheric Separations

3D printed Membranes:
http://www.3dprintingprogress.com/artic … technology
Quote:

Innovative, more accurate membranes. The use of 3D printing techniques offers novel membrane preparation techniques that are able to produce membranes of different shapes, types and designs, which can be more precisely designed, fabricated and controlled than any other membrane fabrication method currently available.
Read more at: http://www.3dprintingprogress.com/artic … technology

So, could we use them to get minority gas concentrations from the atmospheric mix of Mars?

I might suppose compression could be used, but I am concerned that in those conditions the CO and O2 minority gasses would recombine, and so you would loose all the CO and 1/2 of the O2.

So, I am thinking a vacuum/ambient method where I would hope that N2, Argon, O2, and CO would be pulled into the vacuum.

Then of course they could be introduced into a bio-chamber where microorganisms would consume the CO and 1/2 of the Oxygen.
But if you introduced some more fuel, say from splitting water to get Oxygen for humans, put the Hydrogen into the chamber, then you could consume all the Oxygen.

Then you would be left with a Nitrogen/Argon mix, which I suppose would have it's uses.

Speculation.


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#34 2017-02-20 02:23:55

knightdepaix
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Posts: 186

Re: Atmospheric Separations

Question:

How much gas pressure that the Mars such as its gravitational pull can support without losing gases to the space?

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#35 2017-02-20 04:46:18

elderflower
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Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,087

Re: Atmospheric Separations

knightdepaix wrote:

Question:

How much gas pressure that the Mars such as its gravitational pull can support without losing gases to the space?

Mars is losing a lot of gas to space. The lighter molecules escape more rapidly than the heavier ones, so most of what it loses is hydrogen and water vapour. Heavier molecules like Carbon dioxide and Argon are concentrated because of the loss of light ones.
The loss of gasses would be reduced if Mars had a global magnetic field like that of earth (it wouldn't need to be as strong as earth's field).
Venus also has lost almost all its light molecules as it has no significant magnetic field to provide protection.

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#36 2017-02-20 19:00:47

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,049

Re: Atmospheric Separations

To stop atmospheric lose is one of the concepts of creating an orbital static or magnatic field usin lots of satelites to act as a fence to repel them back or at least trap them from escaping. Creating a net of energy to keep the atoms from passing through.

Mars on orbit solar energy is about 563 w / m^2 so we need to at least double that to create this fence which means some sort of nuclear power source as we need to stop the loss from the dark side of mars.

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#37 2017-04-11 21:12:27

knightdepaix
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Registered: 2014-07-07
Posts: 186

Re: Atmospheric Separations

RobertDyck wrote:

Iron meteorites are metallic, but terrestrial iron is all oxide.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron(II)_carbonate
1) Ferrous carbonate also forms directly on steel or iron surfaces exposed to solutions of carbon dioxide, forming an "iron carbonate" scale:[3]    Fe + CO2 + H2O → FeCO3 + H2

So if iron meteorites on mars and/on near-earth or near-mars objects are mined, they can react with Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide or the carbon dioxide produced on site that comes with moisture. Argon, methane, nitrogen will not react with the iron. Carbon monoxide and oxygen's reaction with iron are negligible and the resultant iron carbonyl and oxide can react with among themselves or with the much more abundant CO2 to give the carbonate.

Hydrogen is recovered. Iron(II) carbonate is then roasted with carbon to given iron, just like terrestrial blast furnace processing of iron ore.

Or 2) Calcium and/or magnesium metal or oxides react with Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide to give bicarbonate, similar to iron. Again the other gases do not react. Bicarbonate is soluble in water that can come from the moisture. Heating the aqueous bicarbonate solution recover the carbon dioxide to yield solid carbonate precipitates. Precipitated carbonates in solution suspension are reused to take more carbon dioxide. The solution can also be dried with silica beads without heating. Heating the hydrated silica beads yields the water.

The whole process can be modular flow production -- fixing only individual step or replacing with new machinery for the out-of-order steps of the process. The engineering technologies for these reactions are already present...

Last edited by knightdepaix (2017-04-11 21:15:02)

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#38 2018-08-20 09:55:12

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 2,952

Re: Atmospheric Separations

An Oxygen concentrator (Gill) for Earths atmosphere.

https://info.inogen.com/brand.php?num=8 … tent=Brand

How does it work?
https://www.inogen.com/resources/oxygen … ator-work/
Quote:

How Does an Oxygen Concentrator Work?
An oxygen concentrator works much like a window air conditioning unit: it takes in air, modifies it and delivers it in a new form. An oxygen concentrator takes in air and purifies it for use by people requiring medical oxygen due to low oxygen levels in their blood.
It works by:
Taking in air from its surroundings
Compressing air, while the cooling mechanism keeps the concentrator from overheating
Removing nitrogen from the air via filter and sieve beds
Adjusting delivery settings with an electronic interface
Delivering the purified oxygen via a nasal cannula or mask

Do I think that it could work for Mars as a portable device?  No.

But it is in the family of "Atmospheric Separations" methods or "Atmospheric Gills".

It is a reference which could be consulted for the purpose of hoping to build a stationary of planted device which might extract concentrations of a particular gas from the atmosphere of Mars.

It is a start.


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#39 2018-08-20 13:05:28

IanM
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Posts: 272

Re: Atmospheric Separations

Regarding the topic of atmospheric retention, an important parameter is the so-called Jeans Escape Parameter, defined as GMm/kRT and calculated with respect to the exobase (essentially the point where a molecule does not on average collide with anything before escaping), with m as the molecule's mass, M as the planet's mass, G as the gravitational constant, T is temperature, R is the gas constant, and k is the Boltzmann constant. Generally if it's ~10 or higher, so-called Jeans escape occurs and escape happens slowly, molecule by molecule (this is the regimen that occurs on Earth for things heavier than H and He). If it's less than ~4 so-called Hydrodynamic escape occurs, which is fairly rapid and requires a lot of energy input. (It's unclear what happens when it's in between those values.)


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#40 2018-11-27 09:43:51

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 2,952

Re: Atmospheric Separations

I cannot "Not" be hopeful for this:
https://www.chemicalnews.org/scientists … es-of-air/
Quote:

Scientists Discover New Mechanism to Separate Molecules of Air
0
By Aniket Gawade on October 1, 2018
Chemicals
Scientists discovered a new mechanism to separate molecules of air, according to a study conducted on June 4, 2018.
This study was conducted by the scientists at the Shinshu University and PSL University. They theoretically proved that concerted motion of the nanowindow-rim selectively allows molecules to pass, in an energy-efficiently and fast way. This discovery is expected to aid in the development of advanced molecular separation membrane technology.

Nanowindows separate the molecules when the size of nanowindow changes due to the atomic vibration of the nanowindow-rim. The effect is very predominant for molecules of oxygen, nitrogen, and argon, which induced an efficient separation of oxygen from air. An attempt was made to separate the main components of air, which includes oxygen, nitrogen, and argon. Due to their high industrial needs, an innovative separation technology was on high demand. The permeation of these molecules on 6 differently-sized nanowindows were compared by the researchers.
Oxidation treatment was used for the preparation of nanowindows. Therefore, the rims of the nanowindows are passivated with hydrogen and oxygen atoms, which have essential role for selective permeation. It was observed that the molecules permeated through the nanowindows even when the rigid nanowindow size was smaller than the target molecular size. Thermal vibrations causes the concerted orientational motions of hydrogen and oxygen atoms at the nanowindow rim, which was found to change the effective size of the window.

For the purpose of measuring selectivities, mixed gas permeation was evaluated in the study. Separation efficiencies exceeded 50 and 1500 for O2/N2 and O2/Ar at room temperature, respectively. The current membranes have obtained permeation rate selectivities 6 for O2/N2 but at the same time they lack high permeation rate. Therefore, it shows promising possibility of the dynamic nanowindows in the graphene.
Currently, distillation is carried out for air separation, which consumes large amount of energy. Hence, the development of dynamic nanowindows-embedded graphenes will save large amount of energy and provide safer and high efficient process.

I am expecting that this is a bit out, as far as real industrial application, but really I think it maps in a good direction.

For Earth, the more combustion which can exclude Nitrogen and Argon, generally it is presumed to be a better thing.

For Mars, certain information desired about CO2, CO, and H2 not strongly emphasized, but the map seems promising as well.

Imagine if you could treat the atmosphere of Mars as both a source of Oxygen and Fuel (CO), and industrial gasses (N2, Argon, ect.)

As I said, just now this seems to be a rather good map of directions to take.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2018-11-27 09:49:07)


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#41 2018-11-28 03:43:15

elderflower
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Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,087

Re: Atmospheric Separations

For LOX/ LCO splitting the abundant CO2 seems likely to be a better bet.
Don't be confused by the charts of molecular composition of the Martian atmosphere, these are normally shown on a log scale to avoid them extending into the next street!

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#42 2018-11-28 07:16:28

Void
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Posts: 2,952

Re: Atmospheric Separations

Quote:

For LOX/ LCO splitting the abundant CO2 seems likely to be a better bet.
Don't be confused by the charts of molecular composition of the Martian atmosphere, these are normally shown on a log scale to avoid them extending into the next street!

You could be correct finally and in the end.

I like to paste items I find browsing on the internet to this "Atmospheric Separations" topic, just for reference material.  I may never use it but at least it is here if I want to search through this.

I also like problem solving.  I have always wanted to tap into the chemical energy of the Martian atmosphere somehow.  There is a potential.  At least it is thought that there is enough such energy to sustain microbes in the soil of Mars, that is if other conditions for life allowed it, and if such life existed.  This then could be a minimum possible use of the chemical energy.  Possibly useful to humans.  So although it is really possible that the tiny quantity of Oxygen and Carbon Monoxide will not justify it's harvesting, it is still worth a try from time to time to try to get a utility from it.

……

In reference to how the process might benefit our assumed mutual desire to facilitate human progression to Mars, we could start on Earth.
If you can strain Oxygen out of the Earth's atmosphere at a good price, that has obvious value.

And then for purposes of energy efficiency for the process of combustion a higher Oxygen content may be helpful.  However you would need to build new power plants in order to handle this.  So, I have thought that if you could greatly reduce the Nitrogen, then you could substitute CO2 exhaust gas into a mixture with Oxygen for the combustion cycle.  In other words if you could take >=80% of the warm/hot exhaust gas from the stack, and add back >= 20% Oxygen, then you have conserved heat from the stack.

And you may reduce pollution from Nitrogen compounds.

Is this economic?  Not yet, maybe not ever.

But if it were, it would enrich our economies and so provide more wealth, more muscle for the process of becoming a multiplanetary species.

……

For Mars itself, I am interested in all of the gasses.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Mars
Quote: (A little jumbled up)

2005
General information[1]
Chemical species
Mole fraction
Composition[1]
Carbon dioxide
95.97%
Argon
1.93%
Nitrogen
1.89%
Oxygen
0.146%
Carbon monoxide
0.0557%

You can correct me on my rough math.  Excessive precision here is likely not warranted.
With the above numbers, if you could eliminate the CO2, and be left with everything else, I estimate that that multiplies the amount of each by ~25 times.

Argon
48.25%
Nitrogen
47.25%
Oxygen
3.65%
Carbon monoxide
1.3925%

I will see what that adds up to. 100.5425, which is close enough for estimations.

If that is a rough indication, I would say that you could already inject the mixture into a microbe farm, and get them to process the chemicals.  Most likely that would eliminate the CO, as their food, and some of the Oxygen for them to breath, unless you made them breath perchlorates.  They might be GM so that they could fix Nitrogen into fertilizer, or to produce hydrocarbon liquids or Methane.

So depending on the breathing process the microbes used, you could end up with:

Argon
>48.25%
Nitrogen
>47.25%
Oxygen
~2.2575 to 3.65% (Depending on what the microbes use as oxidizer).
0.0% Carbon monoxide

And then you could use the sieve process to separate out portions of Argon for propulsion mass for electric rockets in orbit, or industrial processes.

And finally perhaps filter out a Nitrogen/Oxygen mix that humans might even be able to breath.


…..

As for the CO2, perhaps that could end up as dry ice to be brought to Orbit for various propulsion reasons, in some cases water ice as well to orbit.  Why?  Well neither of them are explosive, or require strongly pressurized tanks.

But yes you could get your dry ice elsewise.

……

The processes to use will be determined by cost I presume.  Indeed perhaps splitting CO2 and/or Water will be the way to go.

…..

This thing or something like it would need to progress very far beyond what it now is to be justified, but it is something to watch in my opinion.

Done

Last edited by Void (2018-11-28 07:48:36)


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#43 2018-11-28 16:18:43

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 2,952

Re: Atmospheric Separations

Per post #42, the just prior post, I must say that if there is a way to do it, then I really think that SpaceX should get together with NASA and install Kilopower units on the two or more cargo vessels intended to be sent to Mars, and then at least partially process atmospheric separations to a useful end.

I have in my early employment worked with a "#2" shovel job.  Shoveling poo like muck onto a conveyor belt.  Doing work like that with a space suit, maybe something to strongly avoid.  It was a good thing I did it I feel, but not so much in a dire survival situation, unless it cannot be avoided.

While electrolysis is an option, atmospheric separations may require less power.  The machines may be able to tank up with LOX, and Liquid CO prior to any human appearing on the scene.  After all the first two are scheduled to be alone on Mar for ~2 years.

For the required Hydrogen there should be a review of options.  There are a few.
1) Bring the Hydrogen from Earth (A long time ago said, I believe, by Dr. Robert Zubrin).
2) Extract Hydrogen from the atmosphere of Mars (Easier said than done).
3) Mine water brine / water ice.  (Close to the current notions).

Dealing with #1 and also the notion of alternately storing Liquid CO, requires that the tankage is flexible to a degree which is more complex than is desired.

Dealing with #2 requires that you have a extremely effective way to extract water from the Martian atmosphere.  A very unrewarding proposal so far.

#3, is the standard of today, or a revision to deal with drilling for brine.  InSight might tip a hat to us on what we might thing to try.

For #2, my best case vague hope would be to extract water from the atmosphere when it is at it's most humid, most likely in the morning.
Somehow, tassels of some materials dangling out of the "Starship(s)" perhaps with some water attracting materials like salts, blowing in the slight winds.  The upper ends coming into a chamber where the tassel ends are greatly heated and subjected to vacuum, to remove the humidity.  Also it will not hurt to apply a (-) electrical charge to those heated vacuum exposed ends, and to then expel (+) air ions to the exterior of the ship.  Perhaps a vain hope, but something to try.

I have found that I cannot find any articles on what the Germans did in WWII per electrical charge to allow tanks to traverse marshy areas.  Not anymore.  Hidden now I suppose.  A state secret perhaps.  Never mind the needs of the human race.

But again other explanations may hold for that.  I am rather beyond caring so much.  Just do what I can for the cause.

I'm Done.

Last edited by Void (2018-11-28 16:40:50)


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#44 2018-11-30 11:06:08

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 2,952

Re: Atmospheric Separations

I would think that an ideal but very likely unattainable wish would be that something like an automated "Starship" (BFS), could know a place to land on the equator, and actually drill a well for brine.  Of course that requires the high probability that such a brine exists somewhere a ship could land.

It would also require drilling equipment with high assurance of getting the job done.  The last edition of BFS, had a cargo ring around the base of the ship, around the engines.  So, I presume any drilling mechanism would most likely come from there.

An alternative would be a confirmed quantity of ground ice.  For that perhaps not on the equator.  Hard to say.  If there are actually brine aquifers, it is possible that such ice somehow would come from that.  It can be noted that on the north polar ice pack, somewhat fresh water emerges from a freeze thaw cycle.

Similarly, on the equator of Mars, there could be two time periods of greater and lesser cold.  That is when the sun is directly over the equator, you would tend to be towards the least cold, I would think.  Then, if I understand the situation well enough, for each Martian polar summer, I would think the equator becomes a bit more cold.   Interesting information to ponder about the more ancient Mars, where indeed there more often would be a water table.

This notion could also be important if minimal terraforming occurs.  Perhaps bringing up the median pressure x2 or x3, or say 12 mb or 18 mb.  This would be enough I have read for snowfalls to occur, and some of them could occur at low altitudes and lower latitudes, and under such conditions I have read that temporary water could occur.  If that then soaked into the ground and encountered salts, then you could have a re-boot of brine aquifers.   Especially if they did or do have well evolved underground channels.

I further am not absolutely sure that Mars never does this on it's own.   Either from a cascading Methane emission from the undergrounds, or by the shifting of the poles.  In fact if the poles shifted, to where energy is distributed more than now, towards the poles, and if there were and accumulation of Methane clathrate underground, perhaps the pole shift would release enough Methane to also make the CO2 ices into vapors.

Then for the Equator, much like Antarctica, it is not even required for the air temperature to reach 0 degC.  Under favorable altitude and latitude conditions, under equatorial sunlight, perhaps just after noon, you might have peak energy just enough to melt water inside of snow banks.  Even warm enough to melt puddles of water, although they might tend to evaporate.

As to where the Methane would come from, I have seen a lot of hints that Brine in conjunction with basalts can generate H2 and perhaps Methane.  This might happen with or without life.  I think.  Basically you are just rusting the rocks with corrosive brines which on Mars are likely to be made slightly acid with CO2 content in them.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a … 1X14004920
https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio … hromitites

So during a Martian Ice Age, too much of the CO2 would be locked into ice/snow, and water snows would be suppressed.  The ground would be more frozen, and if Methane evolves underground with or without life, it may be stored as Clathrates, or perhaps in standard natural gas formations.

But during an interglacial period you might in fact have a hope of a significant Methane release, say from the Northern plains, or elsewhere, and perhaps a temporary climatic improvement over periods of hundreds to millions of years.  Once the Methane bust was spent, destroyed by the UV light, then the temperatures would start to drop again.  Maybe enough for CO2 to begin forming CO2 snow somewhere.

So, I wildly speculate that there might be a way that aquifers can be recharged from time to time with water, without resorting to lakes under the polar ice caps.

……

I did diverge here somewhat away from "Atmospheric Separations".  My reasons are that I feel that a compromise might be reachable between the planetary protection people, and the people who want to settle Mars with people.

If insight gives suggestion of brine aquifers, then a Starship/BFS, somewhat cleaned up, might land and hope to drill to a brine source with automation before any human shows up.  This would reduce the contamination risk, and if you could draw brine up, then you could hope to determine if it has life in it.

And then if you really want to re-tank your ship with propellants, you then have water, and from my previous posts it is obvious that you then can have CO2, or CO and Oxygen from the atmosphere to create your methane.


……

This is why I am so interested in the CO and Oxygen in the atmosphere.  It is like having a coal seam that is widespread across the planet, with also Oxygen the same.  Just sweep away the CO2 or most of it and you have what I consider a favorable source of CO and Oxygen.

Some technological advances needed. 

It is pretty much always better to work with fluids such as Martian air, and perhaps brine than to work with buried solids.

And that previous article I cited may show a path to a lower energy cost method to extract CO and Oxygen from the Martian atmosphere.

I have strong doubts that a cryogenic method will effectively deliver the CO and Oxygen that is in the atmosphere, and I think that electrolysis maybe more energy costly.  Maybe materials costly as well. But I am not sure.

Done

Last edited by Void (2018-11-30 11:43:04)


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#45 2018-12-04 12:24:56

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 2,952

Re: Atmospheric Separations

I have something to speculate on, concerning electrical arcs in the Martian atmosphere.
Very possibly not worth it but what the heck.

Spark plugs, electrical Jacobs ladder.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spark_gap

Where what we would get from Earths atmosphere by using this would likely be Ozone and perhaps compounds involving Nitrogen, for Mars it could be different.  Worth it?  Well maybe worth a look.

Per post #42, there may be some atmospheric mixes / separations such an arc could act on.  The chemicals produced should be different than for Earth.  But other methods may be better to achieve the same results.

Lightning on Earth, Nitrogen cycle.
http://moodleblogs.dearbornschools.org/ … y-sabrine/

So maybe an arc in a greenhouse to provide Nitrogen to the soil.  It would most likely be turned on when sufficient electric energy was available.

…..

On the other hand working it in Martian atmosphere, perhaps hydrocarbons may result, if you provide humidity.  The chamber for this would not require significant pressurization I would think.

Maybe something like what dust storms supposedly do.
https://www.universetoday.com/405/elect … mpossible/

That might not be so useful, as there are plenty of perchlorates in the ground.  But maybe the nature of the arc per intensity, and the gas mix you used would give a different result.

……

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller–Urey_experiment

If you start with a different gas mix, maybe you synthesize useful organic compounds.  Maybe more Carbon Monoxide in the mix.  That might keep the creation of reactive Oxides down.

End smile

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller–Urey_experiment

Last edited by Void (2018-12-04 12:41:58)


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#46 2018-12-04 16:27:00

louis
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From: UK
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Re: Atmospheric Separations

My understanding is that the equator on Mars is not necessarily the place with the hottest temperatures owing to Mars's much more extreme "wobble" action. Certainly insolation is greatest at about 29-31 degrees north as I recall.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#47 2018-12-10 17:36:29

Void
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Re: Atmospheric Separations

Good to know Louis. Thanks.


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#48 2018-12-10 17:37:40

Void
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Re: Atmospheric Separations

Just moving some materials here from another section:
http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=8850

Post #1 & #2:

From Big_AI:
Quote:

So recently a new iron molecule was discovered for usage in solar panels. This could mean they can be on site or even become a industry. This is a very interesting and important development for renewable energy too! I forgot exactly what the science was but i will post a link below. https://phys.org/news/2018-11-brilliant … solar.
https://phys.org/news/2018-11-brilliant … solar.html


I was glad to see his post, and did a reply:
From post #2:
Quote:

Quote Big_AI:

So recently a new iron molecule was discovered for usage in solar panels. This could mean they can be on site or even become a industry. This is a very interesting and important development for renewable energy too! I forgot exactly what the science was but i will post a link below. https://phys.org/news/2018-11-brilliant … solar.html.

My Reply:
This is in the family of things I like. 
Potentially a Chemosynthetic link to an artificial photo synthesis, as well as or in concert with the products the article mentions.
I will also clip a copy of it to "Atmospheric Separations" under "Life Support". 
It seems likely on Earth if it works economically it can process the discharge from CO2 producing power plants.  In that case though I see that there might be a problem if H2O vapors are involved.  That is it might generate gunk on the catalyst.  But I am not sure if that would always be bad.  As long is what is created such as Methanol would go to a vapor state it should be OK.
But if you wanted to control the chemistry, you might want to exclude Nitrogen and H20, or somehow include H2O and exclude the others.
……
I speculated on this sort of thing previously, but of course without the Iron based catalyst.
In that speculation I considered a "Glass House" it would not be for raising life forms, most likely.  Therefore you would want to allow as much of the solar spectrum of it into the "Glass House" as could be achieved economically on Mars.  Particularly wanting the harshest of the UV, all of it if you could do it.  (Of course the Catalyst has to be happy about UV.  We can't be sure of that but the Earths spectrum has some UV.  UV of course is the most energetic of the spectrum which might be used.
So, it would be kind of backwards from a "Greenhouse" on Mars, but still a link in a form of artificial photo synthesis.
Probably the "Glass House" would not be pressurized to any significant degree.   I am presuming that the catalyst will work on Martian atmosphere as is, or on CO2 only, and other mixes.  Again gunk on the catalysts would not be pleasing I would think.
Other potential benefits of the "Glass House" to the process would be to keep dust out, and if you wanted to stray from pure CO2, and an output of CO and Oxygen, then you could add other potentially reactive gasses such as H20 and Nitrogen.  Again, however, concerns about goop/gunk on the catalyst.  So, I will set those aside, and just look into the:
CO2>(CO & Oxygen) potential.
……
In "Atmospheric Separations" Posts #40 through #44, a speculation exists on the possible use of naturally occurring CO and Oxygen from the Martian atmosphere.
http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=7150&p=2
My inclusion of that material was based on this article:
https://www.chemicalnews.org/scientists … es-of-air/
This one looks potentially good for Mars, because I reason that CO2 should be the "Largest" molecule of significant quantity in the atmosphere of Mars.  I could be disappointed because perhaps there are things I do not properly understand.  But in "Atmospheric Separations", I presumed you would pull that out first.  I was at a loss of what to do with the purified CO2, but your post suggests a "Glass House" filled with relatively pure CO2 being split into CO and Oxygen.

The balance of the other gasses would be processed by microbes at some point, to target the "Natural" CO and Oxygen in the Martian atmosphere.  There being approximately two times as much Oxygen, I anticipate Oxygen being left over.  This process might remain essential during Martian dust storms, maybe.
Your solar catalyst, used in a "Glass House" however might boost up the yields very large.
I prefer to try to adapt to what Mars wants to give us rather than to struggle to impose a "Green Earth" method.  It is perfectly to have solar greenhouse methods, but what I am looking for is a bulk production method which is in greater Harmony with the existing environment of Mars.
…..
And of course you need containments for the microbes.  This does not exclude insulated water filled tanks, but I also feel that it may be practical to build reservoirs of water to do this process.  They will have to be ice covered.  To be ice covered the ice will need some type (Usually) opaque mechanical covering.  But these could be rather large.  The thickness of the ice will in many cases define the amount of gasses which can be dissolved in the water below.   So, a rather thick layer of say 33 feet would allow for about 1/3 the amount of gasses to be dissolved as would be on Earth for the same gas mixture.   33 feet is quite a lot however, at least for the early settlers.
So, a work around is to have a containment at the bottom of the reservoir, perhaps a thin plastic web/bag.  Then per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry%27s_law
Within the bag, then the pressure would be the mechanical protection layer + the Ice layer + the liquid water column above the bag.  So more gasses could be dissolved into the water.
So, then the next tricks are to convey the useful gasses from the "Glass House" and hopefully the natural gasses desired into the water in the bag.  The bag may serve another purpose because the water within it may be at a more desirable temperature than ice water.  The microbes should add heat by their metabolism, and in fact other methods to heat that water should be available.
One problem to overcome is to not put so much CO2 into the water from the output of the "Glass House" that it is hostile to the Microbes.  Some should be OK.
……
At first glance, it might appear that if you put the Split CO2 (CO and Oxygen) into the water, that all the Oxygen would be consumed by the microbes.   However I think that would not be true.  If they consumed it all, then the microbes would have to digest their own bodies completely.  So, they would likely leave some of the Oxygen behind.
Then there are perchlorates.  Some microbes may include them in there diet, and in that case leave even more of the Oxygen behind.
I anticipate that perchlorates may be intentionally included, since they are available in significant quantities on Mars.  Harmony again.  What does Mars want to give us?
So then the game is to be able to collect the "Plankton" of microbes and use that for hydrocarbons, just possibly some type of food (Potentially poisonous).  And then to extract a portion of the Oxygen while not poisoning it with CO.  One method is to periodically stop adding output from the "Glass House", and to allow the CO in the bag to be fully consumed by the microbes.  Then you could "Harvest" the microbes and the Oxygen.
The Oxygen could then be stored in cryogenic tanks somewhere, or in put into diving bell air reservoirs within the reservoir.  The storage needed to cope with dust storms.
Where I mentioned CO2 dissolved in the reservoir, I have also previously mentioned the possibility of including dust dune materials into the water.  The hope there would be to rust the dust.  That should produce H2 for microbes to live on.  It may also be possible to generate clays from it which could be a useful material.  Further this process should also generate salts in the water, and those salts may include metals of use which could be extracted from the water.  Electroplating perhaps.
A further output from this process could be Argon in a purified form (By a needed means of invention).  That just possibly an export to the Earth/Moon system.  However, I am not sure that it would be competitive with Argon from the Earths atmosphere.  However it could certainly be useful to access the asteroid belt proper and perhaps the Trojans of Jupiter.  That possibly would a real payoff. 
Mars Argon>Asteroids/Trojans>Minerals>Earth/Moon>$$$???
So, after all, I am reasonably on topic " Martian Politics and Economy".
……
……

Now I apologize for not looking into the aspect of the new catalyst being used for electric producing solar panels, and of course you can discuss that, but you triggered my excitement.
And I will leave you to it.

Last edited by Void (2018-12-10 17:52:11)


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#49 2018-12-11 12:57:45

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 2,952

Re: Atmospheric Separations

This could have merit:
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases … 120618.php

For Earth of course water needed, maybe those who distill water with petroleum products will not need to.

For Mars, I see a potential.  If we had a "Glass House" per the previous post, then we could fill it with sufficient Argon, to pressurize as required a water based fluid such as a cold brine.  I think a purge method is preferred, where the Argon being at a pressure a bit above the local Martian ambient would keep reactive gasses from seeping into the glass house from the Martian atmosphere.

If the brine is sufficiently cold, then the pressure does not have to be that much above Martian ambient pressure.  Therefore the strength of the "Glass House" does not have to be massive.

The machine described in the linked post would be intended to actively evaporate water into the interior of the "Glass House".  That water I would presume would be possible to dissolve into the interior Argon atmosphere that would be imposed by intention.

If we have an effective catalyst, and a significant amount of water vapor dissolved into the Argon, we will have hopes of producing O2 and H2.  This following catalyst from the previous post can be proposed until a better comes into existence.

https://phys.org/news/2018-11-brilliant … solar.html

The intention of this setup with Argon, a water based fluid, and the machine, is to inhibit the production of organic gunk that may poison the catalytic materials.

Argon should behave itself, and water vapor which is prohibited from encountering CO2, CO, N2, Etc. may survive rather well this way.  Of course O2 may misbehave with the catalyst.  Don't know.

A problem will be what RH% you would maintain in the interior Argon atmosphere?  Too much, and it will be impossible to keep the water vapor from seeping out of the "Glass House".  Too little and you are wasting sunshine and machine.

At some time you have to separate the H2 and O2.  However, that may not be so much a problem.

……

Well then, a favor from the Brits.
https://inhabitat.com/super-strong-grap … -thin-air/
Quote:

Graphene is also capable of performing virtual magic tricks, by extracting hydrogen from thin air to produce energy. This is perhaps the most promising property of this amazing material. Researchers believe graphene could be put to work in mobile electric generator, where it can grab hydrogen from the air to produce energy that is then stored in fuel cells (also using graphene membranes). Hydrogen is already commonly used as an energy source, but it’s typically harvested from fossil fuels. Graphene could make it possible to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels by making use of hydrogen in the air, with little to no negative impact to the environment.

So, here the advantage would be that the H2 being so much smaller than the Oxygen and Argon you have very good chances in my opinion of separating the H2 from a mixture of Argon and Oxygen.

Then you can introduce the Hydrogen to a Hydrogen consuming activity, and may have hopes of compressing the Argon/Oxygen mixture into a breathable gas.  Perhaps some manipulation of the Argon/Oxygen mixture by some reverse osmosis diddling I suppose.



Ended.

Last edited by Void (2018-12-11 13:19:45)


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#50 2018-12-18 21:00:48

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 2,952

Re: Atmospheric Separations

All right I could not pass this up.

It potentially a reverse pathway for atmospheric separations from those where you for instance remove the CO2, the bulk gas of Mars, and work with what is left.  To me this suggests that you could potentially hope to just pluck out even tiny components such as CO and O2.  And of course if you wanted Argon or Nitrogen, perhaps those as well.

https://phys.org/news/2018-12-machine-l … ntial.html

The article leaves me to expect that you are not removing the desired molecules to garbage can them and the cages.  I have to presume that there will be a way to extract what it plucked out economically.  Temperature?  Pressure? Variations?

Anyway, things like this make me hopeful.

Should you want to have your aes the tic smile gardens in the sunshine, or bulk food production methods by sunshine, nothing wrong with either.

But if we could get Manna from the heavens from the disequilibrium of the Martian atmosphere, then that would also be magnificent.

Imagine if somehow we could pluck CO and Oxygen from that atmosphere and have food, organic chemistry for plastics, and also Oxygen to breath.  We are not there yet, but fingers crossed.

Usually it is not wrong to try, and to hope.

And yes I am asking Santa a lot, but what if we could even run fuel cells with an energy gain from CO and Oxygen from the Martian atmosphere?  It is a long shot, but still worth some tries I think.



Done.

Last edited by Void (2018-12-18 21:14:58)


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