Bosch reaction

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The Bosch reaction[1] is the exothermic reduction of carbon dioxide by hydrogen in the presence of a catalyst such as nickel to form water and elemental carbon.[2]
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  • Preventing toxic carbon dioxide buildup in a spacecraft atmosphere[2].
  • Provides a source of carbon.
  • Results in production of either water or oxygen:
    • If the hydrogen for the process must come from water (most likely by electrolysis), the Bosch reaction results in a net release of oxygen for breathing, for water filter production, as a metallurgical additive or as a chemical reagent.
    • Alternatively, in an Earth-supported colony that shipped molecular hydrogen from Earth, it would allow water production from the Martian atmosphere (within the limits of available hydrogen).


  • The catalyst requires regular cleaning or replacement due to the inhibiting effect of the layer of carbon that forms on it.[2]
  • The reaction only takes place at a fairly high temperature and so places a drain on energy and thermal control resources in a spacecraft/colony.[2]

See also


  1. Wikipedia:
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 W.J. Crump - Issues and solutions for short-duration flights: A historical perspective on physiochemical systems in S.E. Churchill ed. Fundamentals of space life sciences vol. 2. 1997. ISBN 0-89464-051-8 pp. 273-276.