A report proposes the development of a thin-film fuel cell that would generate electric power from two minor constituents of the Martian atmosphere — O2 and CO. These compounds are generated continuously by photolysis of CO2, the major constituent. The fuel cell would include a cathode and an anode made of catalysts suitable for the selective low-temperature electrochemical reduction of O2 and oxidation of CO, respectively. It would also include a hygroscopic gel electrolyte.

This work was done by Joseph Lewis and Christopher England of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. To obtain a copy of the report, "Indigenous Martian Atmospheric Power (IMAP)," access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.nasatech.com/tsp  under the Physical Sciences category.


This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Fuel Cell Would Generate Power From Martian Atmosphere

(reference NPO-30123) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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This article first appeared in the November, 2001 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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