Saturday, November 22, 2014

Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century

Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century
W. W. Mendell, Editor ©1985, Lunar and Planetary Institute

I am perplexed, moody, and a bit down in spirit. My arm and hand still tingle and hurt from the shingles we experience several years ago and so it is easier to read than type. 

These posts have been few and far between and yet you folks continue to make suggestions that are interesting and show a continued interest in going back to the Moon with humans. I will be 77 New Years Eve and at the rate we are going I will need to live at least as long as my 104 year old mom. (will visit this week for Thanksgiving)

I grew up with Buck Rogers, enjoyed 2001: A Space Odyssey, and watched sliding doors open on Star Trek.  I watched Apollo 11 land on the Moon with a Black and White TV and snapped a picture on time exposure with an early roll type Polaroid.  

Today we think nothing of doors that open as we approach and smart phones are so common that my 7 year old granddaughter just tells me to "ask your phone" when I don't have the answer to her questions.  :-)  She politely asks to use my tablet to play games and helps grandma learn how to swipe on her tablet to play Candy Crush. :-)

With all this in mind I thought I should try and find things that might be interesting about setting up camp on the Moon.  Too, too, too, many things.  It would be so challenging to engineer  and develop the ability to live on such a hostile environment.  What fun.

As it turns out, it is also interesting to continue to live on mother Earth.  More and more people and machines that need to be fed in many ways.   

Let me mention just one for a taste.  Hydrogen.  You need Hydrogen and Oxygen for rocket fuel.  You use Hydrogen with Oxygen for fuel cells to make electricity.  Some say we should burn Hydrogen in cars.  Plastics have hydrogen in them as do we.  Water is 2 parts Hydrogen and 1 part Oxygen.

Many ways to get Hydrogen. 

If I mention a way to get Hydrogen on the Moon some will say what about here on Earth.  Spend your money here first.  Okay.  How about using Biology?
- LRK -

Biohydrogen is defined as hydrogen produced biologically, most commonly by algaebacteria and archaea. Biohydrogen is a potential biofuel obtainable from both cultivation and from waste organic materials.[1]

Currently, there is a huge demand of the chemical hydrogen. There is no log of the production volume and use of hydrogen world-wide, however consumption of hydrogen was estimated to have reached 900 billion cubic meters in 2011.[2]

It would appear that there is an interest in producing Hydrogen with the small and living.
- LRK -

Crit Rev Microbiol. 1998;24(1):61-84.

Microbial production of hydrogen: an overview.


Production of hydrogen by anaerobes, facultative anaerobes, aerobes, methylotrophs, and photosynthetic bacteria is possible. Anaerobic Clostridia are potential producers and immobilized C. butyricum produces 2 mol H2/mol glucose at 50% efficiency. Spontaneous production of H2 from formate and glucose by immobilized Escherichia coli showed 100% and 60% efficiencies, respectively. Enterobactericiae produces H2 at similar efficiency from different monosaccharides during growth. Among methylotrophs, methanogenes, rumen bacteria, and thermophilic archae, Ruminococcus albus, is promising (2.37 mol/mol glucose). Immobilized aerobic Bacillus licheniformis optimally produces 0.7 mol H2/mol glucose. Photosynthetic Rhodospirillum rubrum produces 4, 7, and 6 mol of H2 from acetate, succinate, and malate, respectively. Excellent productivity (6.2 mol H2/mol glucose) by co-cultures of Cellulomonas with a hydrogenase uptake (Hup) mutant of R. capsulata on cellulose was found. Cyanobacteria, viz., Anabaena, Synechococcus, and Oscillatoria sp., have been studied for photoproduction of H2. Immobilized A. cylindrica produces H2 (20 ml/g dry wt/h) continually for 1 year. Increased H2 productivity was found for Hup mutant of A. variabilis. Synechococcus sp. has a high potential for H2 production in fermentors and outdoor cultures. Simultaneous productions of oxychemicals and H2 by Klebseilla sp. and by enzymatic methods were also attempted. The fate of H2 biotechnology is presumed to be dictated by the stock of fossil fuel and state of pollution in future.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Waste is something we try and get rid of and we produce a lot of organic waste here on Earth and I am sure we will generate a lot of organic waste on the Moon should we go back with humans.  
- LRK -


Microbial hydrogen production by bioconversion of crude glycerol: A review

  • Saurabh Jyoti Sarmaa
  • Satinder Kaur Brara
  • Eduardo Bittencourt Sydneyb
  • Yann Le Bihanc,
  • Gerardo Buelnac
  • Carlos Ricardo Soccolb
    • Abstract

      Hydrogen is a clean source of energy with no harmful byproducts produced during its combustion. Bioconversion of different organic waste materials to hydrogen is a sustainable technology for hydrogen production and it has been investigated by several researchers. Crude glycerol generated during biodiesel manufacturing process can also be used as a feedstock for hydrogen production using microbial processes. The possibility of using crude glycerol as a feedstock for biohydrogen production has been reviewed in this article. A review of recent global biodiesel and crude glycerol production and their future market potential has also been carried out. Similarly, different technical constraints of crude glycerol bioconversion have been elaborately discussed and some strategies for improved hydrogen yield have also been proposed. It has been underlined that use of crude glycerol from biodiesel processing plants for hydrogen production has many advantages over the use of other organic wastes as substrate. Most importantly, it will give direct economic benefit to biodiesel manufacturing industries, which in turn will help in increasing biofuel production and it will partially replace harmful fossil fuels with biofuels. However, different impurities present in crude glycerol are known to inhibit microbial growth. Hence, suitable pretreatment of crude glycerol is recommended for maximum hydrogen yield. Similarly, by using suitable bioreactor system and adopting continuous mode of operation, further investigation of hydrogen production using crude glycerol as a substrate should be undertaken. Furthermore, isolation of more productive strains as well as development of engineered microorganism with enhanced hydrogen production potential is recommended. Strategies for application of co-culture of suitable microorganisms as inoculum for crude glycerol bioconversion and improved hydrogen production have also been proposed.

Bacteria that live without Oxygen.  Hmmm, sounds interesting.  Where might I go that seems to be lacking in Oxygen.
Sorry, we are still here on Earth.
- LRK -


Hydrogen production by Cyanobacteria

Debajyoti Dutta1Debojyoti De1Surabhi Chaudhuri1 and Sanjoy K Bhattacharya2*
The limited fossil fuel prompts the prospecting of various unconventional energy sources to take over the traditional fossil fuel energy source. In this respect the use of hydrogen gas is an attractive alternate source. Attributed by its numerous advantages including those of environmentally clean, efficiency and renew ability, hydrogen gas is considered to be one of the most desired alternate. Cyanobacteria are highly promising microorganism for hydrogen production. In comparison to the traditional ways of hydrogen production (chemical, photoelectrical), Cyanobacterial hydrogen production is commercially viable. This review highlights the basic biology of cynobacterial hydrogen production, strains involved, large-scale hydrogen production and its future prospects. While integrating the existing knowledge and technology, much future improvement and progress is to be done before hydrogen is accepted as a commercial primary energy source.

So much to learn, so little time, but wait, folks have already been studying how we might set up camp on the Moon and I am sure we can find something about how to get some Hydrogen for use there. 
- LRK -

Lunar Bases
and Space Activities of the 21st Century

W. W. Mendell, Editor
©1985, Lunar and Planetary Institute


Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 2 1st Century is a collection of short
papers dealing with various aspects of a manned lunar base and the concomitant
expansion of humanity into near-Earth space. Most of these papers were delivered at
a symposium on the subject, sponsored by NASA and hosted by the National
Academy of Sciences in Washington,Dc October 29-3 1, 1984. The program of the
symposium reflected the structure of the Report of the Lunar Base Working Group,
the output of a workshop sponsored by NASA and hosted by the Institute of
Geophysics and Planetary Physics of the University of California.The Lunar Base
Working Group, consisting of approximately 50 scientists, engineers, industrialists,
and scholars, met during the week of April 23-27, 1984, at the Los Alamos National
Laboratory to discuss the scientfic, technological, and social issues associated with a
permanently craved facility on the lunar surface. 

David C. White
Department of Biological Sdence, 310 Nudem Research Building, Florida State University,
Tallahassee,FL 32306-3043
Peter Hirsch
InsdtutftfrAllgemeine Mikrobiologie, Unhrersit&tKfel,Biozentrum, Olshausenscrasse40/60,
0-2300 KZEL, West Germany

If molecular hydrogen in lunar dust can be made available to the hydrogenases of bacteria, then several
microbial pathways exist for the potential liberation of hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane using relatively
simple apparatus. Intermediate products include microbial biomass and short chain organic acids such as
acetate. The hydrogen could be harvested, and carbon dioxide, phosphate, nitrogen, and trade nutrients could
be recycled. All reactions suggested in this paper, or similar ones, have been demonstrated on Earth, with
the exception of the initial utilization of hydrogen from lunar fines by bacterial hydrogenases. However, it is
possible to test these reactions on extant samples of lunar fines. If potentially toxic elements in lunar soils
present problems for such processes, bacterial tolerance can be induced by plasmid transfer or by selection
among cells subjected to increasing levels of these elements. 

Hmmm, again, it seems what we are working on here could be used there, should that be of further interest.
Should that be of interest. Should that be of interest. Should that be of interest. Oooops, needle got suck.
- LRK -
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