Researcher Eugene Smotkin, man, sitting in lab.

Northeastern researcher helps convert astronauts’ wastewater into alternative fuel for use in outer space

Researchers have successfully figured out how to extract energy from wastewater in outer space. The findings will give astronauts an alternative fuel source to power future trips to the moon, Mars or beyond.

The goal of the research paper, “Autonomous Electrochemical System for Ammonia Oxidation Reaction Measurements at the International Space Stations,” was to create an autonomous electrochemical device that converts ammonia into energy at the International Space Station. The research was the first electrochemical experiment ever done on the space station.

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Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Chemistry and Chemical Biology