Community > Forum > Technology & Science > Production of metals on the Moon - problems, solutions?

Production of metals on the Moon - problems, solutions?

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:47 am
Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 5 posts ] 
Production of metals on the Moon - problems, solutions? 
Author Message
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post Production of metals on the Moon - problems, solutions?   Posted on: Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:47 am
In his study about taylored force fields I initiated a thread about recently Prof. Komerath considers a topic also that isn't that closely linked to taylored force fields and so deserves its own thread in my eyes.

Prof. Komerath mentions a former finding that the costs of lunar production of metals and in particular steel are uncertain.
Quote:
The reason for this
is that steel manufacture by usual processes requires hydrogen and carbon in substantial quantities –
and neither has been found on the Moon
. The cost of delivering each from Earth is highly uncertain.
Previous efforts to estimate the cost has made highly conservative assumptions, such as the assumption
that the marginal cost of delivering a pound of hydrogen or carbon to the Moon, as part of a massive
delivery operation, is the same as that of construction, per lb, of a completed Space Station.
(Tailored Force Fields for Space-Based Construction:
Key to a Space-Based Economy
Phase 1 Final Report page 49)

I don't want to discuss the costs here - but that former finding might be no longer valid for two reasons:

1. Komerath also says that
Quote:
In the case of hydrogen, this ignores the equally high cost of water on the Moon – and the opportunity to
sell off the water to other users in a synergistic development, thus recovering the shipping cost of
hydrogen. The alternatives are:
1. Recover the hydrogen from the water using an ISRU (in situ resource utilization) purification and
electrolysis unit. In this case, the cost of steel becomes critically dependent on the efficiency of this
unit in recovering the hydrogen for re-use. Thus one critical need is for high-efficiency, low-cost solarpowered
electrolysis units. We expect that these will be developed as part of the Mars exploration
effort, since shipping costs to Mars are even higher, and sunlight is scarcer there.
2. Steel manufacture from ore using intense solar-generate heating and/or electric fields. Again, there is
considerable research done in this field, which must be taken through costing.
In the case of carbon, the best alternative may be to substitute carbon with silicon in steel manufacture.
Again, this is an area where some research has been performed, and perhaps this should be combined
with the research on lunar production of pure silicon for solar-cell applications. Reducing the uncertainty
in the cost of metal production would go a long way towards developing a credible costing structure.
Tailored Force Fields for Space-Based Construction:
Key to a Space-Based Economy
Phase 1 Final Report page 49)

2. In between it is assumed and suspected that there are reasonable amounts of hydrogen on the Moon becaus of some data transmitted by two probes and another probe will be sent to improve evicence.

3. I can't remember no informations that hydrogen is required and had a look to Wikipedia. There too I didn't find no hints that hydrogen is required or used - it's oxygen which is there bound in the lunar Regolith.

Prof. Komerath is considering this because he makes use of the lunar metal ressources in his study and describes a required space economy - we might be closer to that economy that assumed the time he worked on the study.


...





Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Commander
Space Station Commander
avatar
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 1:25 am
Posts: 887
Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 04, 2006 6:48 pm
They say we are running out of Osmium. So we can either mine Donny and Maries teeth--or build large launch vehicles to put real mining equipment on the moon. And that means ignoring the fools at SFF.


Back to top
Profile
Moon Mission Member
Moon Mission Member
User avatar
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:38 pm
Posts: 1361
Location: Austin, Texas
Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:48 pm
publiusr wrote:
They say we are running out of Osmium.
I don't know who "they" are, but I have not heard that. I find it hard to believe we could not find some in deeper mines or lower grade ore if we really needed it.


Back to top
Profile WWW
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:57 pm
As far as I understand the idea of extracting oxygen from lunar regolith the metals will be got nonetheless.

It will be interesting to look for the relations between oxygen and metals in the lunar regolith - may be I will do one day.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Commander
Space Station Commander
User avatar
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 9:22 pm
Posts: 843
Location: New York, NY
Post    Posted on: Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:10 pm
campbelp2002 wrote:
publiusr wrote:
They say we are running out of Osmium.
I don't know who "they" are, but I have not heard that. I find it hard to believe we could not find some in deeper mines or lower grade ore if we really needed it.


i seem to remember hearing somewhere that osmium and iridium aren't naturally occurring on earth, and what we have comes from meteorite impacts. i could have no idea what i'm talking about though.

_________________
Cornell 2010- Applied and Engineering Physics

Software Developer

Also, check out my fractals


Back to top
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
 

Who is online 

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests


cron
© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use