A group of American scientists led by the Greek explorer Konstantinos Yapis created a device that can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. It works portable and is small in size. Konstantinos Jápis currently heads the chemistry department at the California Institute of Technology.
Advantages of the new device
This development will be a real find for astronauts since it will allow extending interplanetary travel. Also, space explorers will be able to produce oxygen for themselves in any corner of outer space – on a satellite, on an orbital station, or on another planet. The development of scientists will significantly save money on the supply of oxygen to space. About technology, novelty published an article in the journal Nature Communications.
Previously, Lapis conducted a study of comets, during which he drew attention to a new chemical reaction. As a rule, in order to begin the process of changing substances, you need heat. But the Greek scientist was able to identify specific reactions that can occur under the influence of kinetic energy, and not heat.
The works of the Greek interested representatives of the space industry, as well as a number of ministries and departments in the United States of America. As a result, work has begun on an innovative device that, in space, can carry out a chemical reaction to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen.
Funding for research and scientific development was provided by the US Department of Energy. The team of scientists was also assisted by the National Science Foundation. Part of the financial resources needed for the study was provided by the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis.
Similar studies in the United States
Previously, American chemists have also demonstrated a method that allows obtaining molecular oxygen from carbon dioxide with the release of atomic carbon. In their study, they affected carbon dioxide with lasers. High-energy ultraviolet radiation caused carbon dioxide to decay into carbon and oxygen.
However, this method of obtaining oxygen from carbon dioxide has not found application in the space industry, since it had a low efficiency. Only 5% of the carbon dioxide molecules that were affected by the laser produced molecular oxygen suitable for the breathing of living things. American scientists have concluded that in this way carbon dioxide can disintegrate in the atmosphere of exoplanets. This can explain the fact that a small amount of oxygen is fixed in their atmosphere.