Extraterrestrial fabrication of metal alloys

  • Fabrication

    We intend to use solar radiation as the energy source on Mars, which also contributes towards an emission-free and energetically sustainable metallurgy on Earth.

  • A researcher at work.

    Bacterias under the microscope.

  • A researcher at work.

    Labwork at UFT, University of Bremen.

  • bacteria regolith

    Bacteria growing on a bed of Martian regolith simulant at 75 degrees

  • cathode pellet

    Cathode pellet for electrochemical reduction of regolith made of porous hematite.

Extraterrestrial fabrication of metal alloys

Producing metallic materials in an extraterrestrial environment like the surface of the Moon or Mars is a challenging but essential task. We are developing a new electrochemical process for the synthesis of alloyed metal powders without using fossil carbon sources. Instead, we intend to use solar radiation as the energy source, which also contributes towards an emission-free and energetically sustainable metallurgy on Earth. In order to use regolith as the main elemental source, microorganisms will be employed both to selectively extract specific metal ions from the regolith and to actively support the electrochemical reduction. Advanced methods for the synthesis, characterization and theoretical modelling of regolith simulants will drive the development of a novel (bio)electrochemical reactor.


Project Leader

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lucio Colombi Ciacchi
Conrad Naber Endowed Chair          
Hybrid Materials Interfaces           
Production Engineering               
University of Bremen         

Am Fallturm 1, 28359 Bremen, DE
TAB-Building, Room 3.30
+49 421 218 64570
colombiprotect me ?!hmi.uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de


Publication highlights

Martian Landscape

A vision for Human Mars Exploration made in Bremen

M. Avila, C. Heinicke, L. Colombi Ciacchi, A. Dekorsy, S. Fehrler, K. Rezwan, N. Sieroka, K. Tracht, C. Verseux

44th COSPAR Scientific Assembly. Held 16-24 July, 2022. Online at https://www.cosparathens2022.org/. Abstract PEX.2-0002-22.

Bibcode: 2022cosp...44.3186A

Leading space agencies have the…


Modeling of electrochemical oxide film growth-a PDM refinement

Ingmar Bösing, Fabio La Mantia, Jorg Thöming

Electrochimica Acta 406 (2022), 139847

doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electacta.2022.139847

The Point Defect Model (PDM) is known for over 40 years and has brought deeper insight to the understanding of passivity. During the last decades it has seen…


Optimization of growth and electrosynthesis of PolyHydroxyAlcanoates by the thermophilic bacterium Kyrpidia spormannii

Guillaume Pillot, Soniya Sunny, Victoria Comes, Sven Kerzenmacher

Faraday Discussions Advance Article (2023)

doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.10.25.465696 preprint available open access: doi: http://biorxiv.org/lookup/doi/10.1101/2021.10.25.465696

The electrosynthesis of valuable compounds by…