OPTIMiSm Project

The key to creating a sustainable oxygen supply on Mars resides on a radically new technology: a plasma-activated electrochemical system running on solar power that synergistically couples non-equilibrium plasmas with well-designed nanoparticles and ion membranes, to produce oxygen directly from the Martian atmosphere. OPTIMiSm will prove this claim and demonstrate its feasibility.

By bringing together academic partners, research institutes and enterprises, OPTIMiSm is founding a completely new field of activity and will be transformative at the global scale.

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  • Interview in Antena 2 Interview in the Portuguese radio station
    "Respirar em Marte pode vir a ser conseguido graças a tecnologias de plasmas. Antena 2 Ciência, hoje com Vasco Guerra, investigador do Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear do Instituto Superior Técnico."
    13 Nov, 2017
  • Article in New Scientist How we could make oxygen on Mars, plus fuel to get home
    "The atmosphere on Mars is 96 per cent carbon dioxide, says Vasco Guerra at the University of Lisbon in Portugal. This can be split to extract breathable oxygen and carbon monoxide, a fuel that could give us a “gas station on the Red Planet”, he says. He and his team calculate that creating a carbon dioxide plasma — a mush of ions made by passing an electric current through a gas — could split carbon dioxide from oxygen more easily on Mars than on Earth."
    25 Oct, 2017
  • Article in Newsweek Living on Mars: Settlers could create oxygen from carbon dioxide with Cold Plasma
    "Lead author Vasco Guerra, a physicist at the University of Lisbon in Portugal, had been using plasma to break down carbon dioxide here on Earth, a goal many research teams are looking to tackle to address challenges in climate change and clean energy."
    19 Oct, 2017