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Thread: Seperating the CO bond

  1. #1 Seperating the CO bond 
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    I was watching a program about space travel and i know they use the CO2 scrubbers and also have to carry enough oxygen producing materials for the time they would be in space. If they recycled the co2 it would mean less weight and space used to house it. So if they can remove 1 oxygen atom from turning the co2 into carbon monoxide, that still leaves one bonded oxygen atom to the carbon atom which leads me to the question: Can the carbon/oxygen bond be broken seperating the carbon atom from the oxygen atom and if so how?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Magnesium will burn in CO2 producing carbon and MgO, but you won't get any oxygen. This reaction has been considered as a rocket propulsion system for returning from Mars.

    Photosynthesis is another way.


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  4. #3  
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    I don't think you quite understood my question. CO2 has 1 carbon atom and 2 oxygen atoms so the CO2(Carbon Dioxide) will be turned into CO(Carbon Monoxide) which in the process will allow 1 of the oxygen atoms to be freed. My question is now that we have CO can the bond between the carbon atom and oxygen atom of CO be broken allowing the oxygen atom to be recaptured for breathing purposes.
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    Forum Masters Degree Numsgil's Avatar
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    It's possible but takes energy. Also keep in mind that breathable oxygen is O2.

    Photosynthesis is how it's done in the plant world. There's artificial means of doing this too, but it's far less efficient than plants. But growing plants in space itself takes energy, since you have to give them light to grow from.
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  6. #5  
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    Nice. Solar Power would be the energy source. As far as plants being more efficient at making O2 the problem here would be the amount of growing space it would take to accomplish the task at hand. So in this scenario we are looking at the artificial means by which we get O2 from CO.

    What is the process for separating CO?
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  7. #6  
    Forum Masters Degree Numsgil's Avatar
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    The only reaction I am familiar with is the one from elementary school: Water + CO2 + sunlight -> O2 + Sugar. But maybe some other chemistry type people can think of other reactions.
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