O2 - Prairie View 3/1/96 Progress Report

Date: Fri, 01 Mar 1996
From: Donald Tucker dtucker@pvcea.cea.pvamu.edu

A chemical reaction will take place to produce H2O from the reaactants, which consists of hydrgen and ilemenite. The reaction is as follows:
FeTiO3 + H2 > TiO2 + H2O.

For ilmenite, or FeTiO3, there is 151.7458 grams per mole. Similarly, for H2O there is about 18.0152 grams of water per mole. The sample sizes themselves will range anywhere from 1 to 10 grams in size.

Using stoichemetry and chemical reaction calculation methods, it has been found that for one gram of FeTiO3 about 0.119 grams of H2O can be produced. This reation will require about 900 deg. Celsius of heat instead of the proposed 1000 deg. Celsius. As far as the power needed on the Moon to power this reaction, it will consist of solar power and will be retrieved by the use of mirrors of about 20 cm. in focal length located on the top of the lander. On the Moon, this power will come from solar flux which will be about 1358 W/m2.

One problem we have encountered is the decision of where to land the device on the Moon's surface, which is totally dependent on the O2 concentrations on the Moon. The oxides found within the lunar soils are due to implantation by solar winds. We also have to find a way to regulate, or constrain, the size of our soil samples coming into our device. We have speculated that 1) the rover will only be collecting samples of a certain size (10 to 1000 grams), and 2) the device itself will be constructed with a sample bin that will "sift" the larger particles from those used to undergo the chemical reaction. It should also be pointed out that the temperature of the lunar days and lunar nights should be taken into consideration.

Next: In the coming week, our plans are to follow up on any uncertanties that are now evident as far as landing decisions, design specifications, O2 extracrion, and chemical reactions. By next week, we hope to have come to a final decision on wether or not we will be extracting O2, or simply producing water. As far as the landing site decisions, we are presently in the process of seeking the spectrographic maps provided by JSC to find a high concentration location. It is also hopeful taht we will receive a hypothetical shematic pertaining to the basic flow of the system. These are the aspects of our project that we will be working on and by next week hope to have relevant information leading to the completion of these projections as of March 8, 1996.