SpaceX Is Planning To Make Rocket Fuel Out Of Carbon Dioxide

SpaceX Is Planning To Make Rocket Fuel Out Of Carbon Dioxide - WebNewsOrbit

Elon Musk's SpaceX is working on another revolutionary idea. SpaceX is planning to make rocket fuel out of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A new carbon capture process will be started by SpaceX to create rocket propellants.

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$100M Prize For Carbon Removal

In early 2021, Elon Musk announced a $100 million prize for anyone who could bring a game-changing carbon removal technique to the global table. Several ideas have been proposed to tackle the rising levels of carbon dioxide.

Sabatier Process

However, the latest carbon capture program relief on a "Sabatier reaction" progress. In this process, a reaction is carried out between hydrogen and carbon dioxide at elevated temperature between 300-400 degree Celsius and pressure of 3 MPa. 

The whole process runs in the presence of a nickel catalyst and result in the formation of water and methane. Something like this is already being used by the crew of ISS (International Space Station) to filter carbon dioxide from station's internal atmosphere. 

First Step Towards Aim

So the first step will aim to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Thousands of tons of CO2 would be directly captured from the atmosphere. Air scrubbers, absorption, chemical catalyst or other methods will be employed. Then the captured CO2 will be combined with water to create hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are also the basis of petroleum and natural gas.

At present, SpaceX's Starship uses super-cooled liquid methane and liquid oxygen to propel itself away from the Earth. Earlier Falcon 9 models also used liquid oxygen combined with refined kerosene.

Carbon dioxide accounts for up to 80% of greenhouse gas emissions. So the new technology won't only reduce CO2 levels in our atmosphere but also speed up the transition to alternative fuels.

Colonization of Mars

Moreover, the atmosphere of Mars is composed of 95% carbon dioxide. So it can also play a crucial role in the colonization of Mars in the future.

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