Author Topic: Martian forest  (Read 13770 times)

Offline high road

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 645
  • Europe
  • Liked: 168
  • Likes Given: 38
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #40 on: 02/02/2017 09:40 AM »
I think to grow strong wood you also need wind from time to time.

1g gravity might also turn out to be important.

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4193
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1365
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #41 on: 02/02/2017 05:36 PM »
I think to grow strong wood you also need wind from time to time.

1g gravity might also turn out to be important.

Have you ever tried to break bamboo scrimber - engineered wood made from bamboo? It has comparable mechanical properties to good timber. Little to no structural pine, oak or ash needed on Mars folks.
« Last Edit: 02/02/2017 05:43 PM by docmordrid »
DM

Offline TripD

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 497
  • E. Clampus Launchus
  • Liked: 377
  • Likes Given: 246
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #42 on: 02/03/2017 02:33 AM »
All the hip colonists will be sporting martian Ikea!  8)

Offline high road

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 645
  • Europe
  • Liked: 168
  • Likes Given: 38
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #43 on: 02/03/2017 06:19 AM »
I think to grow strong wood you also need wind from time to time.

1g gravity might also turn out to be important.

Have you ever tried to break bamboo scrimber - engineered wood made from bamboo? It has comparable mechanical properties to good timber. Little to no structural pine, oak or ash needed on Mars folks.

How much bamboo have we grown under 38%g? Must have missed that experiment. And where is the resin coming from on Mars?

Offline JamesH65

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 560
  • Liked: 301
  • Likes Given: 7
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #44 on: 02/03/2017 10:12 AM »
I think to grow strong wood you also need wind from time to time.

1g gravity might also turn out to be important.

Have you ever tried to break bamboo scrimber - engineered wood made from bamboo? It has comparable mechanical properties to good timber. Little to no structural pine, oak or ash needed on Mars folks.

How much bamboo have we grown under 38%g? Must have missed that experiment. And where is the resin coming from on Mars?

Resin can be sent from Earth until production can be done on Mars, and bamboo growth can be tested once on Mars. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. That's going to be the case for lots of stuff. Mars is, for the first decades, an experiment.

Offline KelvinZero

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3310
  • Liked: 407
  • Likes Given: 94
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #45 on: 02/03/2017 12:47 PM »
How much bamboo have we grown under 38%g? Must have missed that experiment. And where is the resin coming from on Mars?
At least some of these techniques could be tested on the ISS, if it works at zero-g it's a pretty good bet it works on mars.
That seems an interesting thing to try. I googled and didn't find much. One reference of bamboo shoots on the ISS only.

Online Phil Stooke

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 329
  • Canada
  • Liked: 187
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #46 on: 02/03/2017 01:20 PM »
"I think to grow strong wood you also need wind from time to time."

I see why one might think this, but do we have a controlled experiment to back it up?

Offline jpo234

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 415
  • Liked: 256
  • Likes Given: 39
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #47 on: 02/03/2017 01:45 PM »
"I think to grow strong wood you also need wind from time to time."

I see why one might think this, but do we have a controlled experiment to back it up?

And how strong does the wood have to be? Mars has lower gravity, so things weight a lot less. So, if you are going to use the wood to make a chair, it could be perfectly usable on Mars even if it would break on Earth...
« Last Edit: 02/03/2017 01:46 PM by jpo234 »

Offline Rei

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 467
  • Iceland
  • Liked: 180
  • Likes Given: 58
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #48 on: 02/03/2017 04:48 PM »
Re, wind: I've tried various amounts of wind in my "jungle".  Wind is not necessary for growth, although it is as noted a way to get improved strength, indoor trees can sometimes tend to be a bit weak.  I find a lot more of an effect of wind on the soil. I have to water small pots daily and large pots once every 3-6 days if I have wind, but without it even small pots can go for many days without watering.  Which is both good and bad; it's often good to cycle your soil between wet and dry.

Of course, this isn't directly applicable to environments where you use hydroponics.

What resin are you talking about?  As a composite binder?  Look into EVA.  Relatively simple as far as ISRU goes.  PE is even easier (in fact, a system for producing PE from Sabatier-process syngas with intent for use on Mars has already been developed), although its properties as a composite binder aren't very impressive.  PE works better as fibres than as a binder (namely UHMWPE, gel spun - aka, Dyneema/Spectra).  EVA has a whole related family of polymers that basically "come with" the production process; PVA is EVA without ethylene as a copolymer; and EVOH/PVOH are hydrolyzed EVA/PVA, respectively.  Between them you have everything from water soluble polymers (lubricants, dissolvable 3d printing substrates, etc) to hot glue, liquid glues, tackifiers, foam rubber, gas barrier films, and a bunch of other things. The key monomer is vinyl acetate, which is made by oxidizing acetic acid over a palladium catalyst.  Acetic acid, in addition to to the obvious (but low volume) means of making it from bacterial fermentation of sugars, can be made from ethylene (which you need anyway), or a variety of other things (for example, methanol plus carbon monoxide; methanol can be made straight from syngas)
« Last Edit: 02/03/2017 04:55 PM by Rei »

Offline Rei

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 467
  • Iceland
  • Liked: 180
  • Likes Given: 58
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #49 on: 02/03/2017 05:07 PM »
Also, note that just because something is ISRU doesn't mean that it's Earth input-free.  For example, for polyethylene:  with the exception of gas-phase polymerization (which the aforementioned system was not), your catalyst actually ends up in the polymer itself, and is thus used up (gas phase polymerization is more complicated, it's prone to accidentally turning the core of the unit into a big block of plastic if temperatures aren't controlled right  ;) ).  Even in the case where catalysts aren't directly consumed, they often still need to be renewed or replaced after a given length of time.  And other parts all have their own wear and tear that needs to be dealt with.

But, of course, the reasonable approach isn't "complete self sufficiency"; it's all about import reduction.  At least in the short to mid term.
« Last Edit: 02/03/2017 05:09 PM by Rei »

Offline JasonAW3

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2389
  • Claremore, Ok.
  • Liked: 371
  • Likes Given: 10
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #50 on: 02/03/2017 05:40 PM »
It occurs to me that different types of trees can produce different types of sap that can harden into some very strong resins.  Whether or not these resins can be used as a binding agent for things exposed to direct, or near vacuum conditions, is problematic, as I've never come across any research into this.

     It does make me consider that plant and tree structures, such as bamboo and pine trees, could, in fact, be quite useful on Mars, assuming that these materials, when combines, with only minor additional treatments and additional chemistry, could be useful in construction of structures on Mars.  Again, whether or not they can be used to create pressurized structures, could be a subject of some research.
My God!  It's full of universes!

Offline guckyfan

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6189
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1528
  • Likes Given: 1286
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #51 on: 02/03/2017 09:44 PM »
Bamboo like wood contains lignin which might be usable. If some of the bamboo would be used for paper and other cellulose products there should be an excess of lignin to be used for creating bamboo wood products, assuming it is usable or can be converted to a usable binder.

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4193
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1365
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #52 on: 02/04/2017 02:11 AM »
I think to grow strong wood you also need wind from time to time.
O
1g gravity might also turn out to be important.

Have you ever tried to break bamboo scrimber - engineered wood made from bamboo? It has comparable mechanical properties to good timber. Little to no structural pine, oak or ash needed on Mars folks.

How much bamboo have we grown under 38%g? Must have missed that experiment.

None, but that's what first missions are for.

Quote
And where is the resin coming from on Mars?

Any chemical infrastructure should be able to make ethylene since it's used in numerous processes. Add vinegar (acetic acid) derived from the garden and a palladium catalyst and you get polyvinyl acetate, PVA, the basis of the most common wood glues; Elmer's etc. and they can be used to make wood laminates.

There are also e. coli modified to produce an adhesive similar to what mollusks use to attach themselves. Add soy protein and you have a helluva adhesive.

After that, there are traditional adhesives native Americans and colonists made from natural materials - some quite strong. Casein, collagen etc.
« Last Edit: 02/05/2017 02:06 PM by docmordrid »
DM

Offline nacnud

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1763
  • Liked: 102
  • Likes Given: 86
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #53 on: 02/04/2017 02:22 AM »
"I think to grow strong wood you also need wind from time to time."

I see why one might think this, but do we have a controlled experiment to back it up?

Houseplants grow well enough, I think wind is a non issue.

Offline Semmel

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 958
  • Germany
  • Liked: 673
  • Likes Given: 1955
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #54 on: 02/05/2017 10:16 AM »
"I think to grow strong wood you also need wind from time to time."

I see why one might think this, but do we have a controlled experiment to back it up?

Houseplants grow well enough, I think wind is a non issue.

Rei already provided insight from experiments with controlled conditions for wind.

Offline nacnud

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1763
  • Liked: 102
  • Likes Given: 86
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #55 on: 02/05/2017 10:37 AM »
ooops, must learn to read

Offline CraigLieb

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
  • Dallas Fort Worth
  • Liked: 628
  • Likes Given: 671
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #56 on: 03/06/2017 05:21 PM »
Fantastic post, Rei. Thank you!

While we are at it, where does the nitrogen for the plants come from? On earth, fertilizer nitrogen comes either from the air or is mainly mined from ancient birds poo. I heard people say before "There is nitrogen on Mars".. so yeah the atmosphere has about 2%, is that enough for a byproduct of a fuel plant? Argon is there as well, might be nice as a replacement for nitrogen in air as well.

Soil bacteria take it out of the air and put it back. But also sometimes lighting does it thus.

Aquaponics... fish produce lots of nitrogen!
Irrigate the plants with recycled fish "water".
Colonize Mars!

Offline sghill

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1276
  • United States
  • Liked: 1411
  • Likes Given: 1935
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #57 on: 03/06/2017 08:03 PM »
Fantastic post, Rei. Thank you!

While we are at it, where does the nitrogen for the plants come from? On earth, fertilizer nitrogen comes either from the air or is mainly mined from ancient birds poo. I heard people say before "There is nitrogen on Mars".. so yeah the atmosphere has about 2%, is that enough for a byproduct of a fuel plant? Argon is there as well, might be nice as a replacement for nitrogen in air as well.

Soil bacteria take it out of the air and put it back. But also sometimes lighting does it thus.

Aquaponics... fish produce lots of nitrogen!
Irrigate the plants with recycled fish "water".

I've got an aquaponics tank in my kitchen right now with a goldfish, some mini bamboo and some other decorative plants.  Haven't changed the water in over a year. The plants love fish pee and the goldfish happily munches on the plants.

I think very little external nitrogen will be needed in a living-cycle-system so long as the colony is pressurized with a high atmospheric nitrogen content.

And as far as bamboo is concerned, some types are so fast growing that shipping seeds to your martian dome and then waiting a few months will be the most efficient means of obtaining bamboo up there.
« Last Edit: 03/06/2017 08:05 PM by sghill »
Bring the thunder Elon!

Offline guckyfan

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6189
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1528
  • Likes Given: 1286
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #58 on: 03/06/2017 08:33 PM »
I've got an aquaponics tank in my kitchen right now with a goldfish, some mini bamboo and some other decorative plants. 



You mean this? That's a betta splendens.  ;)


Offline spacenut

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1994
  • East Alabama
  • Liked: 265
  • Likes Given: 181
Re: Martian forest
« Reply #59 on: 03/06/2017 08:36 PM »
Tilapia are algae eaters, and their waste can be used to grow plants, through a pump system.  People can eat the plants or use the bamboo for wood materials.  Bamboo is made into flooring, cutting boards, and furniture today.  It will have it's use on Mars as well as algae, tilapia, and other eatable plants, fruit, and nut trees.  Fruit trees are usually small trees, less than 20' high.  Nut trees are taller.  Blueberries are on a bush.  So the first "forest" on Mars will probably be bamboo and some fruit trees.  Waste wood can be made into toilet paper, unless there is enough water for bidets. 

For inside Martian forests, trees can include orange, apple, peach, pear, plum, and persimmon, that I can think off off the top of my head.  This is not counting bamboo.  Then you have blue berry bushes.  Then you have grape, muskidine, and  blackberry vines.  Of course there is strawberry plants that can be grown indoors. 

There must be variety to keep peoples palates from being boring. 

Small plants first, then the small trees and bamboo.  Plants are easy, they can all be brought in seed form.  Animals and fish, another story. 
« Last Edit: 03/06/2017 08:42 PM by spacenut »

Tags: