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CO2-removing technology

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:41 pm
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CO2-removing technology 
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Post CO2-removing technology   Posted on: Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:41 pm
In the science section of www.welt.de there is an article today reporting that two company in Tucson/Arozona have announced a technology that removes CO2 from the earthian atmosphere.

The prototype will have an area of 10 squaremeters. It's using natriumhydroxide which is reacting with the CO2 in the winds.

This might be used to handle the CO2 produced by astronauts during Mars trips perhaps. And it might be a possibility to do something useful with the venusian CO2.

But the article doesn't say enough about the output of that technology - is only says that "Kalk" - "chalk" in English? As far as I know that's "Kreide" in German which isn't "Kalk" - is the output of that technology. This is sounding like there would have to be added something to get all ingredients of water etc.

It might provide an additional way to get rid of the CO2 at spaceflights though.

What about it?



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Post    Posted on: Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:19 pm
Kalk is "lime" (not the fruit :) ) in english and natriumhydroxide is more commonly known in english as sodium hydroxide.

Two questions Ekke. What are the names of these two "windscrubber" developers? What's wrong with existing CO2 scrubbers?

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Post    Posted on: Mon Mar 14, 2005 3:12 pm
Thank you for the word.

I couldn't find the names of the companies yet.

There is nothing wrong with the existing scrubbers - it simply is a good situation to be going to have one more soon. Each additional technology to remove CO2 is an additional alternative way if there arise obstacles to use already exsiting ones - each additional method is an alternative too if existing methods cannot be used.

Especially each new technology or each new method may include the chance that it can be used at another planet where the ressources and ingredients for the existing ones are not available - the new ones may be able to use the existing ressources at that planet. They may be a chance for ISRU.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Mar 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Please consider this thread and especially my first posts in it under the aspect of this thread: xprizenews.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=609

The lime could be used as part of a whole ecology by which it may be consumed breaking of the Oxygen out of it.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Mar 16, 2005 1:10 pm
How about those greeny living things called plants?


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Post    Posted on: Wed Mar 16, 2005 1:16 pm
I thought of them too.

Unfortunately I don't know if they consume the lime or if they simply make it part of their structure - as is done by humans and animals. We and the animals at least partially use don't consume the lime but make it part of aour bones as far as I know. This shouldn't happen to the lime got by the scrubbers because I have in mind to get the oxygen.

Thank you very much for posting that point.



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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 18, 2005 3:26 pm
It would be nice to find some studies or articles which measures the amount of plants you need to keep 1 human going in a sealed 'box'. If those plants also can provide food, you have an ideal situation for space stations and long space missions.

Anybody has any idea how many square meters of plant (small plants, not trees) you would need to 'support' the co2 > o2 cycle with fotosyntheses (not sure if this is the correct english term)


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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:09 pm
I am interested in that information too - because plants will cause additional requirements which have to be calculated too.

Lime isn't sufiicient to keep plants alive during a period of time like that required to flx to Mars, stay there a couple of months and return to Earth.

For example:

Are insects required?
What about consumption and production of nitrogen which is good for safety against fire too?
Is a mix of plants needed?
Can mooses ("Moose" in German) be used (as food too)?
What about water plants?
What plants are required from medical sight (potatoes?) ?
What plants have been found within ecological cycles that don't contain certain other groups or families of plants?



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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:34 pm
Okay, stupid question now. What do you mean with 'lime'?

btw, good questions. Insects will be needed for flowers, so i think no insects at all wont be bad.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:42 pm
Stefan wrote:
Okay, stupid question now. What do you mean with 'lime'?


Lime, I believe is a common name for Calcium Carbonate.

BTW no need for insects get the astronauts to polinate the flowers, it will give them something to do on their long journey.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:44 pm
When I asked for the english translation of the german word "Kalk" Dr-Keith_H told me that "Kalk" is "lime" in English.

Insects are doing very much good service for plants as far as I know - and if there would be too much insects in the ecology section of the vehicle the surplus might be used as food perhaps.

But my major reason to think of insects was that animals at all might be required - and then they mustn't be too big. What might be the maximum size of an animal allowed in that vehicle ecology?



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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:54 pm
I do know Kalk, its the same in Dutch ;)

Problem with small insects will be that you can't control them very well. So i would prefer a bugless environment if you don't mind :)

And i dont think flowers are much of a good choice for this, and i doubt i will see anyone eating flowers on a trip, even if its that long :D


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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 18, 2005 5:02 pm
Most fruit and vegetables have flowers

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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 18, 2005 5:14 pm
I have a vague recollection of reading somewhere that algae is the most efficient photosynthesiser in nature. It also doesn't have a complex symbiotic relationship with arthopods, etc. Allegedly something sort of edible can be made with it too (crackers or something... probably tastes horrible)

You could probably dig up some data on the various "biosphere" projects on what is assumed to be required in terms of 02/Carbon cycle.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 18, 2005 5:42 pm
Hello, Stefan,

as far as I know insects can be classified into categories of degree of controlability. The vehicle's ecology can be designed so that the insects don't spread beyond a certain ecological border. This could be done by a line at which a quite different soil begins in case the insects cannot fly. If they can fly then a wall can bar them from spreading too.

And by controlling the temperature within the area of the insects the rate of birth can be controlled.

I have more thioughts but they are not systematic this moment.



Hello, Andy Hill,

you are right in the concept that the lack of insects may provide negotiations for the astronauts at long trips. But they may nedd assitance for several reasons - a lot of insetcs can hanlde very small sub-regions of the ecology better and quicker than the astronauts and there may bbe or evolve much more such sub-regions than there are astronauts. The insects may recognize and control problems the astronauts don't recognize because of their relatively - compared to the insects - raw attention and sense.

And so on. The astronauts are part of the vehicle-wide ecology.

The idea of the insects might provide a measure for the area that is required in a vehicle for a single astronaut. What is the minimum area a state of ants requires? And how much ants plus veryy small plants are required to provide sufficient food for that single astronaut?



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