Sabatier/Water Electrolysis Process
The Sabatier reaction is used to convert Hydrogen shipped from Earth or processed from Martian water-ice and Carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere to create water and methane for use as a fuel, which can be converted to Hydrogen. This fuel will generate more thrust per unit mass than hydrogen.
- CO2 + 4H2 → CH4 + 2H2O
The forward reaction takes place in the presence of high temperatures and pressures, in the presence of a nickel catalyst. Instead of nickel, a catalyst made out of ruthenium or alumina could be used.