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Polyethylene molecule

Polyethylene is a polymer of ethylene. It is non-toxic and easily recycled. Polyethylene is a synthetic material, and is the most common plastic produced on Earth. This may be true on Mars as well.

In situ Production

Polyethylene is produced in industrial quantities from ethylene through the use of catalysts. Common catalysts include chromium trioxide and metallocene.


Embodied energy: about 100 MJ/kg, depending on the variety.


Melting point:



Polyethylene is used widely on Earth, and will likely have many applications in a Martian settlement.


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