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Fuels for space

  • Notes from speaking to David Thompson
  • Oxygen - O2 as byproduct of photosynthesis
  • Hydrogen - via the biohydrogen route
  • nitrogenase, the enzyme that fixes N2 to NH3, as a normal part of its function it produces H2. (Hydrogen-2, H-2, 2H (a.k.a. Deuterium), an isotope of Hydrogen (1 proton, 1 neutron, 1 electron))

1:42 PM albeit at a much slower rate than NH3, its a side reaction.

 but if you force the reaction in an atmosphere with zero nitrogen, then you get H2 production exclusively.

1:43 PM For other sources of fuel... a lot of them are 1) toxic and 2) high energy compounds.

 hard to find biological systems that invest in them.
 but there are some deep sea bacteria that make hydrazine as a free metabolic intermediate.
me: by high energy compounds you mean things like fats?
David: high energy as in the bonds themselves are high energy... like in TNT or something.

1:44 PM me: ok

David: Hydrazine is used as a bipropellant in combination with O2 i believe.
 and some of its derivatives are used in combination with other liquid rocket fuels...
me: is anyone on a chat client that can copy paste our text? I want to write down what David is saying but I can't?

1:45 PM David:

 is a resource for research on those particular bacteria.