While scientists around the world are exploring the moon to find ways to sustain human existence, Chinese researchers say the moon’s soil has the potential to produce oxygen and fuel. They say the soil on the moon contains active compounds that can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and fuel. These researches suggest that soil on the lunar surface could be used to obtain hydrogen and methane, which would power equipment and habitation on the moon. They also lead to a breathable atmosphere in our immediate celestial neighborhood.
There is already a new interest in exploring the moon, with several missions planned to land on the lunar surface in the coming years. In fact, NASA is trying to send astronauts back to the moon under its Artemis mission. The US space agency aims to use the moon as a gateway to send humans into space, including Mars. China also has similar aspirations.
Chinese researchers have proposed in their study published in the journal Joule, To design a system that uses lunar soil and solar radiation to produce oxygen and carbon dioxide. They called this the “extraterrestrial photosynthesis” strategy.
Material scientists from Nanjing University Yingfang Yao and Jigang Xu came to this conclusion after analyzing the lunar soil brought back by the Chang 5 spacecraft from China. They found that the sample contained compounds that were high in iron and high in titanium, which act as catalysts for the production of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
In addition to oxygen and carbon dioxide, the proposed system also produces hydrocarbons such as methane, which can be used as fuel. The researchers said the strategy did not use external forces Sunlight.
Many ways to maintain a sustainable human existence on the moon have been proposed in the past, but almost all of them require energy resources to be transported from Earth to there. This strategy significantly increases the cost of extraterrestrial survival.
Meanwhile, Chinese researchers say they are trying to test the system during China’s future crude moon missions.