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#1 2016-03-04 15:37:56

Terraformer
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From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,362
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Martian Oxygen

Do we have any figures for how much oxygen is contained in the regolith? It appears to be hyper-oxidised, so we should get some oxygen from terraforming, but do we know how much?

It's not going to be enough for advanced plants, but enough for a slight ozone layer? Hmmm.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#2 2016-03-04 21:34:20

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Martian Oxygen

Approximate composition of Martian Soil elements by mass

mars_soil.jpg

Data taken at the Viking 1 landing site.
oxygen  40 - 45 percentage by mass

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#3 2016-03-05 10:54:52

karov
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From: Bulgaria
Registered: 2004-06-03
Posts: 953

Re: Martian Oxygen

What's the decomposition temperature?
Dissociation energy per kg?

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#4 2016-03-05 11:03:32

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Re: Martian Oxygen

I think he's talking about superoxides and perchlorates. Minerals like rock and clay won't decompose easily.

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#5 2016-03-05 12:14:51

Terraformer
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From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,362
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Re: Martian Oxygen

Yes, I'm talking about the superoxides and perchlorates. It's going to be difficult to get life going in Martian soil unless they're removed, anyway.

I've had an idea for a probe involving a mirror that could answer those questions. It would basically focus sunlight to heat surface material, and use a spectrometer to measure whatever is produced in the plume at different temperatures.

If the first meter contains 1% easily liberated oxygen by mass... well, that's enough for about 1 mb of oxygen.Enough for some ozone to form, and possibly for higher plants to survive (though they'd need to be engineered for the low pressure and cold temperatures...).


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#6 2016-03-05 20:00:50

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Martian Oxygen

With a fine grain soil one could add hydrogen in a chamber full of the minerals high in oxygen and what would happen is water would be created on heating which when brought high enough would evaporate into steam to which we can then cool the vapor with the standard distallation process collecting it in another holding tank.

http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2013/pdf/2046.pdf

Mars In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) and Planetary ProtectionPlanetary

http://planetaryprotection.nasa.gov/fil … ers.V2.pdf

http://www.gfredlee.com/SurfaceWQ/Stumm … errous.pdf

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#7 2016-03-07 05:50:05

karov
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From: Bulgaria
Registered: 2004-06-03
Posts: 953

Re: Martian Oxygen

Why not brute force evaporation?

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#8 2016-03-07 17:48:11

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Martian Oxygen

Energy source?
Power level used?
measured results?

710603main_Edgett-2-pia16469_full.jpeg?itok=YtwcxFVj

properties of the "Rocknest" wind drift sand. The upper surface of the drift is covered by coarse sand grains approximately 0.02 to 0.06 inches (0.5 to 1.5 millimeters) in size. These coarse grains are mantled with fine dust, giving the drift surface a light brownish red color. The coarse sand is somewhat cemented to form a thin crust about 0.2 inches (0.5 centimeters) thick


http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/cur … ce-sample/

Inside SAM, the "fines"—the dust, dirt and fine soil—were heated to 1,535 degrees F (835 C).

Soil Water Content on Mars as Estimated from Neutron Measurements by the HEND Instrument Onboard the 2001 Mars Odyssey Spacecraft

The southern subpolar region is well described by a two-layer model, according to which a soil with a water content of up to 55% by mass lies under a relatively dry soil with a water mass fraction of 2% and a thickness of 15–20 g/cm2. The distribution of water in Martian regolith northern subpolar region is in good agreement with the homogeneous model and does not require invoking the more complex two-layer soil model. The water-ice content in the subsurface layer of the northern subpolar region reaches 53 % by mass.

We show that there are two regions with a relatively high water content near the Martian equator. These are Arabia Terra and the Medusae Fossae formation region southwest of Olympus Mons. In these regions, a lower layer with 9–10% of water by mass may underlie the upper layer of relatively dry material 30 g/cm2 in thickness. The “moistest” spot near the equator is at about 30° E and 10° N. Its lower-layer soil may contain more than 16% of water by mass.

Measuring Low Concentrations of Liquid Water in Soil; Electrical-impedance measurements serve as sensitive indications of moisture content.

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#9 2021-01-22 13:25:23

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,326

Re: Martian Oxygen

This topic by Terraformer seems due for a return to view ...

The text below is from an article in the local newspaper today.

It caught my eye because it describes a situation that is rare on Earth, but which will be normal on Mars.

Everyone living in a habitat, riding in a transport vehicle with habitat atmosphere, or wearing a Mars suit, will be dependent upon a constant, never-ending supply of Oxygen.  They'll also be dependent in exactly the same way on a never-ending supply of potable water and nourishing food.  In addition to all those items, they'll be dependent upon a constant, never-ending supply of energy.

It seems to me that taking up residence on Mars is not for the faint of heart.

(th)

Search for oxygen tank refills routine for Peruvians

By Mauricio Muñoz
The Associated Press
VILLA EL SALVADOR, Peru — In
the middle of what was once a sandy
desert, on the outskirts of Peru’s cap-
ital, a new routine has emerged for
many of the residents of the densely
populated city of Villa El Salvador.
With the lives of friends or relatives
at stake because of the new corona-
virus, people are spending their days
searching for a place to buy oxygen,
preferably without having to spend
their life savings.

(th)

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#10 2021-01-22 17:18:22

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Martian Oxygen

The reasons for Mars is that the solar winds can blow the atmospher at high altitudes away from the planet. The trailing wind behind the planets blocking of the suns energy then is pulled from it due to the gravity of the planet. The not having any radiational shielding belts to help with a static shield is the last for why Mars has so little air remaining.
Upper air heating is the enemy for planetary loss.

Mars losing its atmosphere at a faster rate

So mars needs several things to combat the rates or it going into space....

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#11 2021-01-23 08:45:09

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,326

Re: Martian Oxygen

For SpaceNut re #10

Thanks for giving this topic a boost ... I'm hoping Calliban will be interested in the question I posed.  It would definitely be interesting to see how many tons of Oxygen and Nitrogen would be needed to join the existing CO2 on Mars to yield a human-breathable atmosphere.

It would be interesting to learn what pressure the resulting mixture of gases would deliver at the surface, and if the partial pressure of Oxygen would be sufficient for humans to enjoy being out doors.

Naturally we can expect that the atmosphere will begin to waft away immediately after it is installed, but it would be interesting to learn the rate of loss to be expected.  If a society is able to assemble the gases in the first place, then I would expect them to be able to replenish them as they are lost.

Edit#1: Another question related to the above is where the supply of gases might come from ... I would imagine comets would be a useful source of water from which Oxygen could be extracted, but Nitrogen (seems to me anyway) may be sourced from moons of various planets out-system from Mars.

Edit#2: Having NOT read the wealth of posts that are stored in the forum archive, I recognize that all these questions have probably been posed and answered before.  This forum could use the services of a dedicated volunteer librarian who would go beyond my faltering efforts to try to tag interesting posts.

The forum could ** really ** use a permanent repository where items such as RobertDyck's recent restatement of his specifications for an optimum atmosphere for Mars and the Large Ship could be stored.  It verges on ridiculous that RobertDyck, GW Johnson, kbd512 and other contributors have to keep repeating posts because of the flow-under-the-bridge nature of this medium.

At some point the resources and tools for permanent information storage may become available to members of this forum. 

In the mean time, GW Johnson has shown and is showing how to use Wordpress as a permanent storage medium, but even his treasure trove of insights is not indexed.

(th)

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#12 2021-01-23 18:34:20

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Martian Oxygen

The half atmosphere of earth is a second target (7.35 psi) that  we should head for after the first of partial pressure of approximate 3.0 psi.

Robert has calculated both gas mixes.

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#13 2021-01-23 18:49:46

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,326

Re: Martian Oxygen

For SpaceNut re #12 .... Bravo!  You're right of course!

The amount of inert gas needed is NOT as great as I had originally imagined ...

If the habitats are fine at 1/2 Earth pressure at sea level, then the entire planet certainly should be.

Hopefully Calliban will be back with figures for the inputs needed to achieve the habitat equivalent atmosphere as specified by RobertDyck.

(th)

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#14 2021-01-23 22:05:55

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Martian Oxygen

Mars much like earths is a 2 sphere calculations in which the volume is the mass of the air we feel at the inner in PSI with regards to the height of the air column pushing down on the planets surface.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boyle's_law
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles%27s_law
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalton%27s_law

Mars has a diameter of 4,222 miles (6,794 km), but from pole to pole, the diameter is 4,196 miles (6,752 km). Mars’ radius is, of course, half of planet’s diameter.

What is the easiest way to calculate the earth's atmospheric weight?

Mars-atmospheric-pressure-temperature-and-density-as-functions-of-the-altitude-relative.png

390px-Dalton%27s_law_of_partial_pressures.svg.png

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#15 2021-01-24 03:14:26

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,154

Re: Martian Oxygen

According to this reference: 'Perchlorate (ClO4−) is widespread in Martian soils at concentrations between 0.5 and 1%. At such concentrations, perchlorate could be an important source of oxygen, but it could also become a critical chemical hazard to astronauts. In this paper, we review the dual implications of ClO4− on Mars, and propose a biochemical approach for removal of perchlorate from Martian soil that would be energetically cheap, environmentally friendly and could be used to obtain oxygen both for human consumption and to fuel surface operations.'

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Al … 000000.pdf

Sounds good. The perchlorate is mostly in the form of calcium perchlorate, Ca(ClO4)2. This has a molar mass of 239, of which 128g is oxygen. Assume that Martian regolith has a bulk density of 2000kg/m2 and that 0.5% (on average) is perchlorate. That is an average of 10kg/m3. If we could fully reduce the perchlorate into calcium chloride and oxygen, then the top 1m of regolith, would release 5.4kg of oxygen per m2 of surface. If we could do that globally, it would add 0.2mbar of oxygen to the Martian atmosphere.

The regolith is between 5-10m in depth.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martian_soil

If it all contains perchlorate at the same concentration as the surface, then it complete decomposition would add 1.5mbar of oxygen to the Martian atmosphere.  Certainly enough to get terraforming started and a useful resource for future colonists.  Perchlorates are sometimes used on Earth to produce oxygen candles, which burn to generate oxygen in enclosed spaces where easy replenishment of atmospheric oxygen is not possible (I.e submarines).  It could also be used to manufacture solid rocket propellant and explosives.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-01-24 03:19:50)


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#16 2021-01-24 10:58:09

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

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