Evaluation of Tribocharged Electrostatic Beneficiation of Lunar Simulant in Lunar Gravity

Jacqueline W. Quinn, Jim G. Captain, Kyle Weis, Edgardo Santiago-Maldonado, Steve Trigwell
2013 Journal of Aerospace Engineering  
Introduction The lunar regolith has high concentrations of aluminum, silicon, calcium, iron, sodium, and titanium oxides. Liberation of these metals would provide necessary materials for structural and building material fabrication, spare part, machine and tool production, and construction and site preparation in-situ on the moon or other extraterrestrial body (Rao et al 1979) . Ilmenite ( FeTi0 3 ) is a mineral of interest on the moon as a source of iron, titanium, and oxygen (Cameron 1992,
more » ... n (Cameron 1992, Zhao and Shadman 1993) and therefore enrichment of this mineral in the feedstock before processing would be a considerable advantage in reducing energy requirements to process regolith. Not only for construction materials, but shipping oxygen and water from earth is weight prohibitive, and so investigations into the potential production of oxygen from the oxides of lunar regolith are a major research initiative by NASA (Sibille et al. 2009 , Moscatello et al. 2009 ). On-going bench top and in-vacuo testing indicated significant enrichment greater than 200% (Trigwell et al 2009) for targeted mineral species using tribocharged beneficiation, however this 1 https://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20110016172 2018-07-26T07:47:06+00:00Z
doi:10.1061/(asce)as.1943-5525.0000227 fatcat:rbvkjvzzlzdute2w5gcuau2gi4