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Moonshrooms

a false morel dilemma...
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(+3, -2)
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There is water on the moon.
It could be split into hydrogen and oxygen and used as a fuel scource, but then it's gone.

Instead of sucking it dry I think that, (this part's not new), we use it strictly for growing symbiotic plant and fungal life-forms in domes on the moon's surface.
Seeds and spores will be cheap to transport from the Earth compared to hauling up the chemicals they are capable of producing easily.

That they might provide oxygen for settlements is all well and good but what about that fuel scource?

If the first little biochemical factories to be grown are false morel mushrooms in symbiosis with the tree species they prefer then the Monomethylhydrazine can be harvested along with oxygen for a biobased rocket fuel at a fraction of the water and energy that extracting the hydrogen would take...I think.


[link]






       //It could be split into hydrogen and oxygen and used as a fuel scource, but then it's gone.//   

       Yes, what a shame. If only the product of using that very fuel were water itself...
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 19 2010
  

       I get that, but the return is what? Thirty percent or so isn't it?   

       alright.. I thought you were planning to take shrooms for the upcoming fullmoon/solstice/lunar eclipse
afinehowdoyoudo, Dec 19 2010
  

       //I get that, but the return is what? Thirty percent or so isn't it?//   

       30% is approximately correct. If you want it more accurate, it's 100%.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 19 2010
  

       // taking a chair //   

       He did that already, but he got off with probation.
8th of 7, Dec 19 2010
  

       well I love the name + or it could be mushmoons!
xandram, Dec 20 2010
  

       //... Monomethylhydrazine can be harvested along with oxygen for a biobased rocket fuel at a fraction of the water and energy that extracting the hydrogen would take...//   

       //I get that, but the return is what? Thirty percent or so isn't it?//   

       How depressing.   

       [mfd] bad science
(retracted on grounds of interesting discussion)
Loris, Dec 20 2010
  

       I am sorry to depress you [Loris].
I'll try to figure out how it's bad science.
  

       In the absense of any radioactivity, fusion or fission, the number of atoms of each element is a constant. This is fundamental, basic stuff.
Yes, if you use something as rocket fuel you're throwing it away, but that would equally apply to your biofuel rocket.
  

       MMH is CH3(NH)NH2; 1 carbon, 2 nitrogens and 6 hydrogens. You don't cover where the carbon or nitrogen comes from. To completely combust this, you'd also need 5 oxygen atoms per molecule. This oxygen, and the hydrogen - sure, you could get that from moon water, but doesn't that negate the object?
If that was all you used, you'd have surplus hydrogen left over from the moonwater. If that's useful-great; but what are you planning to do with it? You could burn it for fuel if you simply imported some oxygen...
Loris, Dec 21 2010
  

       Thank you, and I don't mean that in a sarcastic snotty way either.
I learned more reading those few lines of text than I did in an hour or so's googling.
  

       I assumed that Co2 would be a bi-product of those tending the domes and from the trees themselves. I hadn't a clue that nitrogen was needed.
<now I'm depressed>
  

       I never mean to post drivel.
I can imagine that it is either aggravating, or hillarious by turns, watching someone try and invent without having the basics down, so I appreciate the info.
  

       2Fries, there is nothing - nothing - which a true halfbaker enjoys more than pointing out the flaws in someone else's ideas. For that reason alone, I for one am delighted you're here.   

       As for the drivel-index of the idea, it's quite low. Using the water to grow plants as an energy resource is not completely barmy. Sunshine is never in short supply.   

       Also, the nitrogen problem is a red herring. For one thing, there's a chance (I have no idea) that lunar soils are as rich in available nitrogen as terrestrial soils are. Even if they are not, the mass of nitrogen fertilisers needed would be very small compared to the biomass yeild (since plants are mostly carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and water). Indeed, astronaut poo would make a good fertiliser.   

       Personally, I'd just run a big extension lead from Earth, though.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 21 2010
  

       //2Fries, there is nothing - nothing - which a true halfbaker enjoys more than pointing out the flaws in someone else's ideas. For that reason alone, I for one am delighted you're here.//   

       This anno, [MB], has instilled in me the urge to hoist you up on my shoulders and parade you around the locale.
MikeD, Dec 21 2010
  

       You know how much I weigh? I'm heavy, even in Imperial units.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 21 2010
  

       //Thank you, and I don't mean that in a sarcastic snotty way either.//   

       Well, um... you're welcome. I didn't particularly enjoy that, though - I'm obviously not doing it right.   

       The issue with reaction-mass for rocket fuel I believe still remains. For significant quantities of rocket-fuel, one would need significant C and N sources. (A lot more would be necessary just for the maintainance of the system, but that is presumably recycled.)
Maybe carbon and nitrogen are abundant in moon rocks, or can be recovered from other necessary deliveries - whatever.
Given abundant energy to extract it, oxygen is presumably present in enormous amounts in moon rock.
  

       The specific thrust of these fuels may also be greater than hydrogen-oxygen, or storage may be easier, or rocket construction may be simpler, any of which might help. However, energetically - photosynthesis, plant metabolism, fungal digestion and metabolism and MMX purification are together going to put production a long, long way behind hydrogen/oxygen production, so these would have to be serious wins for the morel impediment to be worth it.
Loris, Dec 21 2010
  

       //Sunshine is never in short supply.//   

       Not been to Manchester then, Max?
Loris, Dec 21 2010
  

       Is that Manchester, The Moon? Probably more atmosphere than Manchester, Earth.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 21 2010
  

       Probably easier to get to at the moment as well.
DrBob, Dec 22 2010
  
      
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