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