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RE: Gases on Mars discussion thread
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In the book Red Mars that dealth very interestingly with the concept (I thought) it was not beyond our capabilities to start the process. The Green Mars, Blue Mars would take 100's if not 1000's of years to perfect.

Of course if we did have the technology/ability we should be using it to clean the air on our own planet first !



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how many elements does one introduce to terraform, a whole planet?

successfully?

not to rain on anyones parade but we can't deal with our own weather, climate, etc.





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Seems others were discussing theories on how to convert CO2 into oxygen a number of years ago.... and talking about Mars

http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=154820

Old Feb5-07, 08:58 PM                 #5
 
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Quote by Jacquesl View Post
How to separate CO2 into C and O2, how can this be done, will this require, much energy?
Heat it, it takes 393.5 kJ/mol.

http://webbook.nist.gov/cgi/cbook.cg...nits=SI&Mask=1
  
Old Feb7-07, 05:50 PM                 #6
 
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The easiest way is to feed it to a plant. It converts the carbon to carbohydrate which can then be carbonized by heat in the absence of air or by strong sulfuric acid. Oxygen is produced when light is present.

Alternatively, you could heat CO2 over a catalyst of iron doped zeolite and hydrogen to produce water and ethylene. A nonthermal plasma applied to ethylene will generate carbon soot and recover the hydrogen. Electrolysis of water gives back the extra hydrogen and produces oxygen. (Hey! I didn't say it was efficient.) It might be useful to someone on Mars who has endless power in the form of a nuclear reactor and plenty of CO2 but not so much oxygen.
  
Old Feb8-07, 03:36 AM                 #7

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Oxygen is produced when light is present.
Nice man, NASA must actually start a Amazon in the space station with dozens of trees with a sun roof on top the station for the light. And use the human waste for plant food and the water I’m not so sure yet.
What happens then plants doesn’t get CO2 ? does it die?
So just by burning some Carbon containing stuff I can make a dish of plant gasses, called CO2, and that can then me converted back to O2 and the C is absorb by the plant to make glucose, with the presence of water.

But this idea from you sounds brilliant, but like you’ve said, you will need unlimited energy for that current hungry Electrolysis

you could heat CO2 over a catalyst of iron doped zeolite and hydrogen to produce water and ethylene
If hydrogen exist 75% in space, can it be used by tapping into that source

I’m not understanding that “catalyst of iron doped zeolite”
  
Old Feb8-07, 10:31 AM                 #8
 
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Not my idea. The idea of using photosynthesis in space to produce oxygen from CO2 and water has been around a very long time. Converting CO2 to oxygen (abiotically) is currently being investigated by NASA as a source of Oxygen on the manned mission to Mars.

Zeolites are inorganic cage structures of aluminosilicates. Some synthetic varieties can be based on phosphorous and silica as well. The cage structures have sites where cations reside. Usually these cations are simply sodium or potassium but they can be exchanged for other cations such as calcium and magnesium. The cavities in the cage structure are large enough in some cases to trap and hold fairly large species. If a transition metal species is allowed to occupy some of the space, you have the potential to have a catalytic reaction site. Zeolites are used in this way (and other ways) as catalysts. The most common use for zeolites is in the form of cat litter. It seems that zeolites have an affinity to ammonia and thus minimize the odor from the litterbox. Another use for zeolite is to soften water by exchanging divalent metals (calcium, magnesium) for sodium. It is usually present in powdered laundry detergents and in that role is known as a detergent "builder".
  
Old Feb8-07, 10:56 AM                 #9

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Single a question, is not important but...

Catalyst is an substance wich increases the rate of the reaction.

I think, It is important to catalize the reaction because the rate of reaction is low. We can increases the rate of reaction increases the T but this is problematic, another wished reaction cannot compete.
  
Old Feb8-07, 11:46 AM                 #10

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Ok, thanks I just want to make sure I just wanted to make sure that I’m not understand the terms wrong.


“In chemistry and biology, catalysis is the acceleration (increase in rate) or slowing down of a chemical reaction by means of a substance, called a catalyst,”

Lets just leave this for NASA I’m no challenge for them on this topic
  
Old Feb8-07, 03:53 PM                 #11

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The following reaction is used in submarines to recyle CO2 and release O2:

Na2O2 + CO2 -----> Na2CO3 + 1/2O2
  
Old Feb14-07, 06:59 PM                 #12

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not considering the cost of electricity, is it possible to seperate co2 by adding only electrical energy?
  
Old Feb14-07, 07:24 PM                 #13
 
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Oxygen can be isolated but carbon monoxide is the final carbon containing product.

http://www.sbir.nasa.gov/SBIR/abstra...nId=SBIR_05_P1

http://neptune.spaceports.com/~helmu...resources.html


-- Edited by Chandre on Sunday 11th of November 2012 08:20:59 AM

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I continue to think aloud here....so if carbon dioxide is heavier then air ,and the winemakers back home use it an a 'blanket' over the top of the wine in barrels, then is it safe to assume that it will be lying like a blanket on the surface of Mars mixed with some other heavier gasses as shown in the chart below. Is it also possible, that if it is acting as a blanket that lighter gasses may be above this layer and that perhaps the reading would be different if sampled from above the carbon dioxide 'blanket' ?

I am not a scientist, does anyone know if that might be true ?



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I have spent ages wondering how we could be seeing organic matter in variuos stages of decomposition that is exposed to air and light but has not disintegrated. It seems that the NASA chart below supplies a possible answer.

Carbon Dioxide is used to preserve organic matter rather effectively on Earth, so is Argon and Nitrogen. No doubt they would have the same effect on organic matter anywhere in the universe in the air concentration found on Mars. This would mean in theory that organic matter on the surface of Mars, perhaps trapped under sand or ice and gradually exposed to the elements would be preserved by this concoction of gasses in the atmosphere and that may mean what we are seeing may well be very old and very organic. Just a theory, but from what I can see....possible

Modified atmosphere

Main article: Modified atmosphere

Modifying atmosphere is a way to preserve food by operating on the atmosphere around it. Salad crops which are notoriously difficult to preserve are now being packaged in sealed bags with an atmosphere modified to reduce the oxygen (O2) concentration and increase the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration. There is concern that although salad vegetables retain their appearance and texture in such conditions, this method of preservation may not retain nutrients, especially vitamins. Grains may be preserved using carbon dioxide by one of two methods; either using a block of dry ice placed in the bottom and the can is filled with grain or the container can be purged from the bottom by gaseous carbon dioxide from a cylinder or bulk supply vessel.

Carbon dioxide prevents insects, and depending on concentration, mold, and oxidation from damaging the grain. Grain stored in this way can remain edible for five years.[citation needed]

Nitrogen gas (N2) at concentrations of 98% or higher is also used effectively to kill insects in grain through hypoxia.[9] However, carbon dioxide has an advantage in this respect as it kills organisms through hypercarbia and depending on concentration hypoxia and, requiring concentrations of above 35%,[10] or so. This makes carbon dioxide preferable for fumigation in situations where a hermetic seal cannot be maintained.

Air-tight storage of grains (sometimes called hermetic storage) relies on the respiration of grain, insects and fungi which can modify the enclosed atmosphere sufficiently to control insect pests. This is a method of great antiquity,[11] as well as having modern equivalents. The success of the method relies on have the correct mix of sealing, grain moisture and temperature.[12]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_preservation

Modern winemaking requires inert gas blanketing to protect wine from oxidation. The gas of choice is Carbon Dioxide, because it is relatively cheap, and being denser than air (~2 g/Lt c.f. ~ 1.2 g/Lt for air at 20 o C), it readily inserts between the wine surface and ambient air.

 

By Daniel Liss

On Earth Day, I had the privilege of exhibiting my project—an energy efficient approach to food preservation—at EPA’s 6th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo. I was able to preserve food with a practically negligible impact on the environment.

Using my mother’s nut jar and other household equipment, I invented a device for preserving food that employs a promising, inexpensive new technique that could serve as an alternative to modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), the corporate industry standard. MAP involves displacing the air inside a container with either a single gas or mixture of gases to create an atmosphere that slows the deterioration of food.

Rather than displacing air, my device achieves the same objective with a simple chemical reaction. I apply an electrical charge to carbon fiber positioned inside a container, causing the fiber to burn. The surrounding oxygen reacts with the burning carbon to form carbon dioxide within the container.

In short, the existing air inside the container is transformed into a low-oxygen, high-carbon dioxide, atmosphere—hostile to the kinds of bacteria that are most harmful to food.

Although I was only 15 and my prototype was made from a nut jar, I had the opportunity to test my device at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, which graciously provided laboratory space and funding after learning about my idea during a summer internship.

Based on my test results, I was able to confirm that my device significantly inhibits bacterial growth and also slows the enzymatic degradation of meat. Even more exciting is that it works with just a few pieces of relatively inexpensive equipment, and unlike vacuum packaging, does not crush food, or suck out volatile ingredients such as fats and oils.

My method essentially replicates the benefits of MAP, without the need for sophisticated equipment or large amounts of pressurized gasses on hand. Most importantly, a package atmosphere only needs to be changed once, reducing the need for additives.

About the Author:  Daniel Liss is a rising junior at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. Since EPA’s Expo, he won a gold medal at the International Environmental Project Olympiad (INEPO), in Istanbul, Turkey. Previously, he had won a bronze medal at the International Sustainable World [Environment, Energy, Engineering] Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP) in Houston, Texas.

http://blog.epa.gov/blog/2010/08/sw/



-- Edited by Chandre on Saturday 10th of November 2012 12:39:51 PM

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terraforming is only necessary when it is essential that you inhabit that world. For aliens who have that technology, it is probably not necessary and for aliens who dont have the technology, they they are like us and find planets that have friendly environments.

I have no doubt that terraforming is possible but it is a very 3D activity and there is probably a lot you can do as a civilisation before you get to the stage of needing to terraform another planet. For example, as soon as you can go places in time or use energy portals then it all becomes unnecessary. Maybe this is just a wish for humans created by the sci-fi writers. Perhaps there are examples of this terraforming on planets in our solar system or even here on Earth. Where is that mountain which has had its top cut off and is completely flat?

Huge underground structures come before full terraforming too so we need to look for that. Maybe at the bottom of the sea or inner Earth? There is so much you can do to your environment when you know how the universe works but unfortunately with power comes corruption.



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Ahh, now we are getting to the real reason the rovers were sent there.  To asess the reason Mars lost its atmosphere and whether it happened slowly or through some cataclysm? Just my theory. I am sure they have known mars was inhabited for a long time and, we might have even come from there (or our mutated dna)  I guess they dont want to repeat thier mistakes with another planet since there is not another habitable one for more than a light year away.  Probably no chance of terraforming that one back from the dead. 



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Found a NASA blog explaining a little more about the atmosphere on Mars - including the fact that it is supposed to be 100 times thinner than Earths. This may explain why the wind does not blow much stuff about

Learning what happened to the Martian atmosphere will help scientists assess whether the planet ever was habitable. The present atmosphere of Mars is 100 times thinner than Earth's.

A set of instruments aboard the rover has ingested and analyzed samples of the atmosphere collected near the "Rocknest" site in Gale Crater where the rover is stopped for research. Findings from the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments suggest that loss of a fraction of the atmosphere, resulting from a physical process favoring retention of heavier isotopes of certain elements, has been a significant factor in the evolution of the planet. Isotopes are variants of the same element with different atomic weights.



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Having found methane and lost it again, On the 2nd November, NASA have put forward these different ideas about where it could be going to and where it could be coming from.

article about where the methane has gone and how it came to be there

==============================================
We know the real source of this gas but they have to lead people by the nose until they realise what is being revealed to them. The microbes selected for one of their 'sources' are larger than they would have us believe !!

However, I suspect that there may be something they are not telling us.... what do you all think?




Abundance of gases on Mars
CO2 - 95+%
O2 - 0.14%

The questions which pop into my mind are ...
a) What would the Martians be breathing?
    There is a lot of oxygen bound up in CO2 so could they possibly be breathing this and using some of it for their metabolism? Rather like plants do here. From our studies, there appears to be a number of different sizes of Martian, but this information suggests that they are not breathing oxygen as we are, and it also suggests that any man-on-mars attempt will need some kind of permanent respirator which is probably unfeasable.
b) Where is the Hydrogen if our theory about there being plenty of water on Mars is correct?
c) Would it be possible to 'hide' something as 'obvious' as Hydrogen?
    Possibly not if we get to see the raw analysis data.

article on 'volatiles'





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