When SpaceX launches an interplanetary rocket designed to send crews to the International Space Station, transport satellites into space and reach Mars as early as 2024, each launch will release approximately 715 tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to approximately 10 tons of carbon dioxide. 747 country/region flights. If space flight becomes common, and if rockets are also used to replace jets on Earth for fast travel, then it may become a meaningful source of emissions. But the rocket can also use zero-carbon net fuel.
Air Company is a start-up company located in New York City that converts captured carbon dioxide into products. It was launched at the end of 2019 and offers completely different products.Carbon negative vodka. However, as researchers conducted experiments in the laboratory, it saw an opportunity to make rocket fuel from the captured carbon dioxide. “We found that in the event of an accident, we can make fuel very efficiently,” said Stafford Sheehan, an electrochemist and co-founder of the startup. “We are operating the system at higher than normal temperatures under certain conditions higher than usual, and have found that we can make these fuel molecules very efficiently.” Although the company focuses on rocket fuel, the technology can still Used to make carbon neutral fuels for some other applications (such as ships).
By making liquid methane (the fuel used in newer rockets such as the Nova spacecraft) from captured carbon dioxide instead of natural gas, the net carbon footprint of each flight can be eliminated. Fuel also solves the second challenge: Assuming that reusable rockets reach Mars, they will need to refuel for the flight home, and they can use materials found on Earth to make fuel. “[On] Mars, you have water,” Sheen said. “It has frozen, but if you have enough energy you can thaw it, and it does have energy in the form of solar energy. And your carbon dioxide content is high because the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere is 95%. “
The company built a prototype and successfully produced liquid methane and liquid oxygen. He said: “We have done it, and we have thoroughly studied how it works,” “We will gather the knowledge from the first factory, and then design a powerful way to gradually expand its presence on Mars. use.”
The next step will be to design and build gas stations and start working closely with the aerospace industry. He said: “We need the industry to develop with us.” “Although we have won some funding from NASA in the past, and we hope to do more, we do hope to have those key industry players and partners, such as SpaceX And World Blue Origin, to really help promote these technologies will also move forward.”
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