APPENDIX
SUGGESTED EXTRACTION PROCESSES

From the several possible methods for extracting metals and oxygen from the lunar and asteroidal resources, the following are considered best suited for nonterrestrial conditions:

  1. Carbochlorination of lunar plagioclase concentrate in conjunction with Alcoa electrolysis for Al
  2. Carbo chlorination of lunar ilmenite concentrate followed by Ca reduction of TiO2 and subsequent reduction of Fe2 O2 by H2 for Ti and Fe, respectively
  3. Silicothermic reduction of asteroidal olivine concentrate for Mg
  4. Methanation of CO and electrolysis of H2 O and/or solidstate electrolysis of gas mixture containing CO, CO2 and H2O for oxygen.
The principal reactions of interest in the metal and oxygen extraction process along with the thermodynamic data, mass, and heat balances of the processes considered are detailed in
TABLE 3 .-REACTIONS OF INTEREST IN METAL AND OXYGEN EXTRACTION PROCESSES
1. Al2O3(s) + 3C(s) + 3CL2 (g) 2AlCl3 (g) + 3CO(g)
2. CaO2 (s) + C(s) + Cl2 (g) CaCl2(s) + CO(g)
3. SiO2(s) + 2C(s) + 2Cl2(g) SiCl4(g) + 2CO(g)
4. CaO Al2O3 2SiO2(s) + 8C(s) + 8Cl2(g) 2AlCl3(g) + CaCl2(g) + 2SiCl4(g) + 8CO(g)
5. FeTiO3(s) + 3C(s) + 3/2Cl2(g) FeCl3 + TiO2(s) + 3CO(s)
6. FeCl3(s) FeCl3(g)
7. FeCl3(s) + 3/2O2(g) 2Fe2O3(s) + 3Cl2(g)
8. Fe2O3(s) + 3H2(g) 2Fe(s) + 3H2O(g)
9. Fe2O3(s) + 3CO(s) 2Fe(s) + 3CO2(g)
10. TiO2(s) + 2Ca(s) Ti(s) + 2CaO(s)
11. Mg2SiO4(s) + 4CaO(s) + Si(s) 2Ca2SiO4(s) + 2Mg(g)
12. 2CO(g) CO2(g) + C(s)
13. Co(g) +2H2(g) CH4(g) + H2O(g)
14. H2(g) + 1/2 O2(g) H2O(g)
TABLE 4 .-THERMODYNAMIC DATA FOR SOME PERTINENT REACTIONS IN METAL AND OXYGEN EXTRACTION PROCESS
Reaction
no.
Temperature
K
Go
Kcal
Ho
Kcal
K Partial pressure of species (Pi = 1 atm)
Gaseous
species
Pi Gaseous
species
Pi Gaseous
species
Pi
1 900 -62.2 37.7 1.26X1015 AlCl3 ~0.4 CO ~0.6 Cl2 3.0X10-6
1000 -73.3 37.7 1.07X1015 AlCL3 ~0.4 CO ~0.6 Cl2 1.4X10-6
2 900 -73.3 -63.4 6.5X1017 - - CO ~1.0 Cl2 1.6X10-18
1000 -74.4 -63.4 1.8X1016 - - CO ~1.0 Cl2 5.5X10-17
3 900 -41.5 6.2 1.2X1010 SiCl4 ~0.333 CO ~0.667 Cl2 3.5X10-6
1000 -48.8 6.2 1.7X1010 SiCl4 ~0.333 CO ~0.667 Cl2 3.0X10-6
4 900 -190.6 11.9 1.9X1046 SiCl4or
AlCl3
~0.166 CO ~0.667 Cl2 2.3X10 -6
1000 -213.1 11.9 3.7X1046 AlCl3 - CO ~0.667 Cl2 2.0X10-6
5 1000 -69.2 -76 2.7X1033 FeCl3 0.25 CO 0.75 Cl2 5.3X10-21
1100 -74.1 -76 2.7X1030 FeCl3 0.25 CO 0.75 Cl2 1.21X10-21
6 500 11.2 33.2 1.3X10-5 FeCl3 1.3X10-5 - - - -
600 6.7 33.2 3.8X10-3 FeCl3 3.8X10-3 - - - -
7 500 -25.6 -8.6 1.5X1011 O2 3.6X10-8 - - Cl2 ~1
600 -29.0 -8.6 3.5X1010 O2 9.3X10-8 - - Cl2 ~1
8 1000 -3.6 15.3 6.62 H2 0.348 - - H2O 0.625
1200 -7.6 15.3 24.0 H2 0.257 - - H2O 0.743
9 1000 -5.9 -9.0 19.9 - - CO 0.27 CO2 0.73
1200 -5.4 -9.0 94.7 - - CO 0.325 CO2 0.675
10 1200 -70.3 -81.3 6.3X1012 - - - - - -
1300 -69.4 -81.3 4.6X1010 - - - - - -
11 1300 +7.7 64.7 5.2X10-2 Mg 0.23 - - - -
1500 -1.1 64.7 1.46 Mg 1.21 - - - -
12 800 -7.3 -41.0 101.0 - - - - - -
1200 9.4 -41.0 1.92X10-2 - - - - - -
13 1000 6.4 -54.6 3.9X10-2 - - - - - -
1200 8.6 -54.6 2.8X10-2 - - -- - - -
14 1000 -46.0 -59.3 1.16X1010 - - - - - -
1200 -43.4 -54.3 7.9X107 - - - - - -
TABLE 5 .-THEORETICAL AMOUNTS OF RACTANTS AND PRODUCTS IN VARIOUS METAL EXTRACTION PROCESSES
Extraction
process
for:
Basis,
1 kg
Reaction Reactants required, kg Products formed, kg
Aluminum Anorthite 4 CaOAl2O32SiO 2 C Cl2 AlCl3 CaCl2 SiCl4a CO
(1) (0.345) (2.036) 0.956) (0.399) (1.221) (0.805)
Electrolyte -- AlCl3 Alkalai and
alkaline earth
chlorides
Alkalai and
alkaline earth
chlorides
AL CL2 - -
(0.05) (0.95) (0.95) 0.0101) (0.00399) - -
Titanium and iron Ilmenite 5 FeTiO3 C Cl2 FeCl3 TiO2 - CO
(1) (0.040) (0.463) (0.708) (0.463) - (0.093)
10 TiO2 Ca - CaO Ti - -
(0.463) (0.463) - (0.650) (0.277) - -
7 FeCL3 O2 - Fe2O3 Cl2 - -
(0.708) (0.053) - (0.347) (0.463) - -
8 Fe2O3 H2 - Fe H2O - -
(0.347) (0.013) - (0.243) (0.117) - -
Magnesium Olivine 11 Mg2SiO4 CaO Si Ca2SiO4 Mg - -
(1) (1.594) (0.200) 2.448) (0.346) - -

aIf SiCl4 is suppressed, 0.775 kg of SiO2 can be recovered.
TABLE 6 .-THEORETICAL HEAT REQUIREMENTS AND SENSIBLE HEATS FOR SOME REACTIONS IN METAL EXTRACTION PROCESSES
Extraction
process
for:
Reaction Temperature,
K
HT-H298
reactants,
Kcal
Enthalpy of
reaction H,oT,
Kcal
Sensible heat in
products
HT-H298, Kcal
Al 4 1000 119.8 11.9 141.2
Ti 5 1100 37.4 -76.0 158.3
10 1200 29.9 -51.5 31.4
Fe 7 600 17.8 -8.6 18.4
8 1000 38.9 15.3 161.8
Mg 11 1500 115.6 64.7 178.7
TABLE 7 .-ILMENITE PROCESSING DETAILSa
Year (SMF frame) 2 3 4 5 6
Ilmenite concentrate
(X10-3tons/year)
16 40 61 81 81
Tubes in use 465 1160 1770 2350 2350
Rutile requirement, tons 7.4 18.4 28.1 37.3 37.3
Carbon requirement, tons/day 1.8 4.4 6.7 8.9 8.9
Chlorine requirement, tons/day 20.3 50.8 77.5 103 103
Ferric chloride produced,
(X10-3tons/year)
11.3 28.3 43.1 57.3 57.3
Rutile produced,
(X10-3tons/year)
7.4 18.5 28.2 37.5 37.5
Carbon monoxide produced
tons/day
4.1 10.2 15.6 20.7 20.7
Tubes producing hematite 230 580 885 1175 1175
Oxygen requirement,btons/day
4.6 11.4 17.4 23.1 23.1
Hematite produced,
(X10-3tons/year)
5.6 13.9 21.2 28.1 28.1
Hydrogen requirement,
tons/day
0.58 1.44 2.20 2.92 2.92
Iron produced,
(X10-3tons/year)
3.9 9.7 14.8 19.7 19.7
Calcium requirement,tons/day 20.3 50.8 77.5 103 103
Titanium produced,
(X10-3tons/year)
4.4 11.1 16.9 22.4 22.4

aBased on expirements in references 11 and 12.
bRequirements should at least be doubled; 1 day in use, the next day being recycles.

Return to V-5

References

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Curator: Al Globus
NASA Responsible Official: Dr. Ruth Globus
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