Artificial intelligence reveals the secret of oxygen production on the red planet

Recent advances in the production of oxygen on Mars by using a robotic chemist with artificial intelligence to create REL catalysts from Martian meteorites represent an important step towards realizing the dream of colonizing Mars. This technology promises to create an oxygen factory on Mars, bringing human habitation on the planet closer to reality. Source: AI-Chemist Group of the University of Science and Technology of China

An artificial intelligence chemist has successfully created a catalyst to produce oxygen from Martian meteorites.

Migrate and live there March These are often science fiction themes. Before these dreams come true, humanity faces great challenges, such as the lack of vital resources such as oxygen needed for long-term survival on the Red Planet. However, recent discoveries of water activity on Mars have brought new hope that these obstacles can be overcome.

Scientists are currently investigating the possibility of water decomposition to produce oxygen through solar-driven electrochemical oxidation of water using oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts. The challenge is to find a way to make these catalysts in-situ from materials found on Mars, rather than transporting them from Earth, which is expensive.

Advances in Artificial Intelligence and Martian Chemistry

A team led by Professor Luo Yi, Professor Jiang Jun and Professor Shang Weiwei from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) recently managed to solve this problem. Automatically collect and optimize REL catalysts from Martian meteorites using automated chemical artificial intelligence (AI).

Their research, in collaboration with the Deep Space Exploration Laboratory, was recently published in the journal Synthesis of nature.

“The AI-based chemist innovatively synthesizes the REL catalyst using Martian materials based on interdisciplinary collaboration,” said Professor Luo Yi, the team’s senior scientist.

In each experimental session, the AI ​​chemist first analyzes the elemental composition of Martian minerals using laser-induced spectroscopy (LIBS) as eyes. The ores are then subjected to a series of pre-treatments, including weighing in the solids distribution station, preparation of stock solutions in the liquid distribution station, liquid separation in the centrifuge workstation, and solidification in the drying station.

A robotic chemist with artificial intelligence creates useful oxygen-generating catalysts using Martian meteorites. Credit: AI-Chemist Group of the University of Science and Technology of ChinaThe resulting metal hydroxides are treated with Nafion adhesive to prepare a working electrode for REL testing in an electrochemical workstation. The test data is sent in real time to the computer “brain” of the AI ​​chemist Machine learning (ml) Treatment.

The AI ​​chemist “brain” uses quantum chemistry and molecular dynamics simulations of 30,000 highly entropic hydroxides with different element ratios and calculates their REL catalytic activities using density functional theory. Simulation data is used to train a neural network model to rapidly predict stimulus activities with different feature compositions.

Finally, using Bayesian optimization, the “brain” predicts the mix of available Martian minerals needed to create the optimal REL catalyst.

Achieve a breakthrough in oxygen production

Chemist AI has so far created an excellent catalyst using five types of Martian meteorites under unmanned conditions. This stimulator can work stably for more than 550,000 seconds at a current density of 10 mA cm-2 And an overvoltage of 445.1 mV. Another test at -37°C, the temperature on Mars, confirmed that the catalyst could produce oxygen stably without apparent degradation.

In two months, an AI chemist completed a complex catalyst optimization process that would have taken a human chemist 2,000 years to complete.

The team is working to transform the AI-based chemist into a general experimental platform for various chemical compositions without human intervention. A reviewer of the paper noted: “This type of research is of great interest and subject to rapid developments in the synthesis and discovery of organic/inorganic materials. »

“In the future, humans could set up an oxygen factory on Mars with the help of an artificial intelligence chemist,” Jiang said. Only 15 hours of sunlight are needed to create an oxygen concentration sufficient for human survival. He said: “This advanced technology brings us even closer to realizing our dream of life on Mars. »

Reference: “Automatic Synthesis of Oxygen-Producing Catalysts from Martian Meteorites by an AI Robotic Chemist” by Qing Zhou, Yan Huang, Donglai Zhou, Luyuan Zhao, Lulu Guo, Ruyu Yang, Zexu Sun, Man Lu, Fei Zhang, Hengyu Xiao, Shen Sheng Tang, Shuchun Zhang, Tao Song, Xiang Li, Baochun Zhong, Johnny Zhou, Yihan Zhang, Baicheng Zhang, Jiaqi Cao, Guozhen Zhang, Song Wang, Guilin Yi, Wangjun Zhang, Haitao Zhao, Shuang Cong, Huirong Li, Li – Li Ling, Zhi Zhang, Yue Zhang, Jun Jiang and Yi Lu, November 13, 2023, Synthesis of nature.
doi: 10.1038/s44160-023-00424-1

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