Energy on the Moon?


Lets make an assumption (a dangerous thing, I know!). Man has built a Moon base. Where will the power come from?


Transporting fuel to the moon is not cost effective. Solar panels? Well, they need to be transported there as well and a lunar night lasts fourteen days! How about…..

A thermo-chemical storage solution?

The moons surface has plenty of calcium oxide. This could be combined with water to make calcium hydroxide.

CaO + H2O ⇆ Ca (OH)2

The standard enthalpy change for this reaction is around – 100 kJ mol -1

This means that the forward reaction can be used to generate heat (and produce steam to drive a turbine, etc).

During the day, solar energy can be used to heat up the Ca(OH)2. It thermally decomposes at around 600 oC though. But, because the reaction in this direction is endothermic, the equilibrium will be well over to the left and lots of CaO will be produced (for the night reaction).

And the H2O – well, in theory it will be steam due to the high temperature – it could theoretically be used to drive more turbines but this I feel would be the trick part.

I did say assumptions were dangerous! 😆


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