Form 9.B Project Summary



Proposal Number:


Project Title:

Mars Aromatic Hydrocarbon and

Olefin Synthesis System

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

The Mars Aromatic Hydrocarbon and Olefin

Synthesis System (MAHOSS) is a device for

producing low hydrogen to carbon (H/C) ratio

hydrocarbons on Mars with minimal power

requirements. It works by combining the CO and

hydrogen output of a RWGS reactor over a

Fischer-Tropsch catalyst to prepare paraffinic

hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons are thermally

cracked to produce compounds such as ethylene,

propylene, toluene and acetylene. Its primary

advantage is the production of fuel hydrocarbons

that are low in hydrogen content relative to

normally considered fuels, such as methane. This

reduces the amount of liquid hydrogen that must be

imported or the size and power requirements of an

in situ hydrogen recovery unit by a factor of two for

ethylene and propylene, or a factor of four for

toluene and acetylene. The other advantage of the

MAHOSS is the generation of important chemical

feedstocks for plastics production. These uses

make the MAHOSS an attractive concept for early

robotic and manned missions and a critical

technology for development of a permanently

staffed Mars base. Despite the importance of these

compounds, to date there has been no experimental

work done on building an apparatus for in situ

Martian production of aromatic hydrocarbons and


Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

The potential commercial applications of a

combined RWGS/Fischer-Tropsch reactor are

numerous, particularly with the current

international interest in reducing CO2 emissions.

The RWGS can use a carbon dioxide feed from a

power plant or other source and can create syngas.

The Fischer-Tropsch reactor can reform the syngas

into liquid fuels for automotive or chemical use.

This project will be the first demonstration of an

end-to-end CO2 abatement system that produces

useful products.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Brian Frankie

Pioneer Astronautics

445 Union Blvd. #125

Lakewood , CO 80228

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Robert Zubrin

Pioneer Astronautics

445 Union Blvd. #125

Lakewood , CO 80228