You are here

Martian Oxygen: Creating Breathable Air with Engineered Ceramics

Martian Oxygen: Creating Breathable Air with Engineered Ceramics

Ceramatec's ongoing development of the solid electrolysis stack scheduled to fly aboard the Mars 2020 mission was featured as the cover story for Ceramic Industry Magazine.

In the 2015 film The Martian, based on the novel of the same title by Andy Weir, astronaut Mark Watney struggles for survival after his team is forced to evacuate Mars due to a violent dust storm — leaving him behind after mistakenly presuming he is dead. The story highlights how a manned mission to Mars will critically depend on a reliable oxygen supply. Through shrewd engineering and improvising, Watney manages to gather and create the critical supplies needed to survive on Mars until the next mission arrives: food, water, shelter, and oxygen. Watney, a botanist and mechanical engineer, plants potatoes in a modified room where he waters them by burning some of the mission's fuel supply of hydrazine with oxygen (O2).

While the "normal" supplies of food, water and shelter were created through innovative engineering, establishing a steady oxygen supply required more specialized tools. Thankfully, the mission came equipped with the "oxygenator," which took compressed carbon dioxide (CO2) and "passed it over a zirconia electrolysis cell to pull oxygen atoms off the CO2." While this sounds closer to science fiction than science, the truth is that NASA is implementing such a concept on its upcoming mission to Mars.


Other News

Martian Oxygen: Creating Breathable Air with Engineered Ceramics

Ceramatec's ongoing development of the solid electrolysis stack scheduled to fly aboard the Mars 2020 mission was featured as the cover story for Ceramic Industry Magazine.

Ceramatec Fuel Cell Group Awarded DOE Fund for Advancement of Hydrogen Fuel Technologies

Ceramatec, in partnership with the Palo Alto Research Center and Gaia Energy Research Institute, was awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) towards the advancement of hydrogen fuel technologies.

Ceramatec Selected by ARPA-E for an Electrochemical Ammonia Synthesis for Grid Scale Energy Storage

Ceramatec, Inc., along with its team members, will develop a modular electrochemical process for a power-to-liquid fuel system based on ammonia. A new synthesis approach will combine chemical and electrochemical steps to facilitate the high-energy step of breaking the molecular nitrogen bond.

No more leftovers: Utah researchers looking to turn turkey guts into fuel

Ceramatec is playing a key role in the United States’ commitment to reducing greenhouse emissions by 2025. The Department of Energy (DOE) is focusing on innovative energy as one factor in this effort, and they are looking to the research efforts of Ceramatec to deliver new energy solutions.

Federal grant awarded to Salt Lake City company to capture sun’s energy

Ceramatec was awarded a Department of Energy grant of $2.4 million this month to develop a modular heat engine power block designed to convert heat directly into electricity without moving parts.

Pages

What can we do for you?

Together with our material scientists, chemical and mechanical engineers, and electrochemists, we can help you solve problems and unleash the potential of technologies in the commercial marketplace.

Phone: 801-972-2455
Email: info@ceramatec.com