Sunday, 29 October 2017

Water, Water Everwhere

I was reading an article about a scientist who has invented something to extract Oxygen and Hydrogen from rock which NASA and the ESA are especially excited about as it would be very useful on the Moon or Mars which has nothing but rocks.
All very useful but i do wonder if i had two atoms of Hydrogen in my left hand and one of Oxygen in my left hand, how would i make drinkable water from them?
Obviously just mashing them together like a snowball wouldn't work as wouldn't putting them in a container and stirring them together like a drink so how do you get from a three-part gas mixture to a fluid you can drink while stranded on the lunar surface?     
Apparently mashing or stirring them together is half the job, the other half is adding a spark or sufficient heat to start a reaction, and hey presto, instant water.
One common chemistry demonstration that i obviously missed is to fill a balloon with two-thirds hydrogen and one third oxygen and touch the balloon with a flame.
Granted that the chances that i will find myself on another part of the Solar System with a raging thirst and surrounded by nothing but rocks is slim but it is another small step to humans inhabiting and terraforming other parts of the Universe and possibly solving the water shortage here on Earth.
My next question is if we can break things like rocks down to their constituent parts, can we extract them and then put them back together again in a different ratio to make the resources which we are running out of?

2 comments:

Keep Life Simple said...
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Falling on a bruise said...

I think we have come a long way but we are so far away from colonising other planets and certainly not before we have a dry run on the moon.