View Full Version : Will Bio Fuels Power Martian Colonies Instead Of Solar?

2010-Feb-02, 06:50 PM
If I told you that your great, great, great grandkids would be building houses on that crimson world known as Mars, what would be the first thought to enter your head? Rovers? Check! A comfy Martian house? Check! Power cutting rock tools? (for us guys) Double check! A bio fuel gas tank? Che–huh?! You're probably wondering "what [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/2010/02/02/will-bio-fuels-power-martian-colonies-instead-of-solar/)

2010-Feb-02, 11:01 PM
This is bad chemistry. Where does the oxygen come from? We extract it from water ice? And where does the energy come to do that? PV panels? If we extract oxygen from water ice, then we also generate hydrogen gas, which is a potent fuel itself. And the energy for all that came from whatever generated the electricity.

But wait--I think this is a problem in reporting rather than the original scientific research. Probably, the cyanobacteria in question are using photosynthesis to create the isobutanol from carbon dioxide and water (they're obviously not magically generating the hydrogen atoms from pure CO2). In this process, the cyanobacteria themselves generate the oxygen.

Generally, cyanobacteria might provide breathing oxygen, filter out carbon dioxide, recycle waste, and convert water and carbon dioxide into food. But they would work best with plenty of sunlight; it may generally be better to use them in space colonies rather than on Mars.

2010-Feb-02, 11:15 PM
or here on earth...

2010-Feb-03, 12:02 AM
The need for oxidization makes this a much less attractive system, I'm sure we'll find a better way by the time we're on Mars.

2010-Feb-03, 08:40 AM
there are already farms here on earth making bio diesel out of the stuff..
it is just blue green algae



Photosynthesis in cyanobacteria generally uses water as an electron donor and produces oxygen as a by-product, though some may also use hydrogen sulfide as occurs among other photosynthetic bacteria. Carbon dioxide is reduced to form carbohydrates via the Calvin cycle. In most forms the photosynthetic machinery is embedded into folds of the cell membrane, called thylakoids. The large amounts of oxygen in the atmosphere are considered to have been first created by the activities of ancient cyanobacteria.

2010-Feb-03, 08:46 AM
and you can eat it too...

mmmm... algae

so it uses sunlight (but not green sunlight) to make oxygen, fuel and food...

seems pretty efficient to me...