Laser Alumina Reduction with Heterogeneous Nucleation Toward Aluminum Smelting from Lunar Regolith



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50th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Alumina reduction method using laser ablation has been researched for aluminum smelting from the lunar regolith. This method is composed of two processes; alumina dissociation process and aluminum collection process. In the dissociation process, the existence of aluminum in the ablation plume from laser-ablated alumina was observed, and alumina reduction has been demonstrated. 32% of alumina was dissociated into aluminum and oxygen, which was calculated from measured plume temperature and pressure assuming chemical equilibrium. In the collection process, the aluminum particles were observed on the ablated alumina rod by the SEM. This result indicated the aluminum collection has been conducted successfully. The mechanism of this aluminum particle production has been researched, considering the heterogeneous nucleation. In this presentation, the overall discussion of this laser alumina reduction method for ISRU on the moon will be conducted with the detail explanation of both processes experimental results.


Seiya Tanaka, the University of Tokyo
Naoki Tanaka, the University of Tokyo
Kimiya Komurasaki, the University of Tokyo
Hiroyuki Koizumi, the University of Tokyo
ICES308: Advanced Technologies for In-Situ Resource Utilization
The 50th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held virtually on 12 July 2021 through 14 July 2021.


in-situ-resource-utilization, moon, laser ablation, metal, oxygen