For the past fifty years, scientists have been intensively exploring space for possible extraterrestrial life. They look for exo-planets that are in the "goldilock" zone with respect to the parent star, so not too far and not too close to the parent star so that water can be present on the planet in a liquid state. Astronomers have already discovered many exo-planets with potential for life thanks to the smooth operation of the Kepler satellite. These exo-planets are discovered because they cause minute but detectable periodic fluctuations in the brightness of the parent star. The larger and closer the planet is to the parent star, the easier it is to detect and track. Large moons in large gaseous planets are also of interest to the astronomers of planet Earth. A beautiful artistic impression of a large moon with life is the Blue Moon, which you can visit online at YouTube.
The scientists are aware that most exo planets are outside our current travel range. The known exo-planets with possible cosmic life at a relatively short distance are the four planets of the red dwarf Gliese 581 which are a little over 20 light years away.
The scientists are therefore more interested in making our own neighboring planets Venus and Mars livable. The process of making a seemingly lifeless planet liveable is called terraforming in English and terraforming in Dutch.
The atmosphere on Venus is characterized by a high pressure of 90-95 atmospheres and a ground temperature around 480 ºC. The atmosphere consists largely of CO2.
The atmosphere on Mars is characterized by a low pressure of 0.01 atmosphere and an average ground temperature of -70 ºC (on the equator, the temperature can reach 10 ºC) and, as is the case on Venus, the atmosphere consists largely of CO2.
Terra formation on Mars:
With one simple chemical reaction we can convert the CO2 on Mars into a non-toxic, heavy greenhouse gas and O2, oxygen.
The greenhouse gas is almost 4X heavier than air and 6,500 times stronger than greenhouse gas than CO2. When all CO2 on Mars is replaced by this gas, the temperature on the equator will be able to rise to a pleasant 20 ºC.
However, the gas that will initiate this reaction is highly poisonous and corrosive and therefore more difficult to transport. This gas could be synthesized in situ on Mars if the raw materials for it are present. This will have to be investigated.
Terra formation on Venus
On Venus, the CO2 partial pressure could be reduced by large-scale introduction of NaOH, sodium hydroxide, which will be rapidly converted in the Venusian atmosphere to NaHCO3, sodium bicarbonate. However, to achieve a reasonable effect, such large amounts of NaOH will be needed that it seems almost impossible: around Venus is 4.8 × 1020 kg CO2. In comparison, all ocean water on Earth has a mass of 1.4 × 1021 kg, about twice as much. Of this, about 3.5% is salt. So you could say that Venus has a vaporized ocean of carbon dioxide. Unless scientists find a method to convert the available NaCl, table salt, on Earth quickly, effectively and in an environmentally friendly way to NaOH and to overcome the Earth's deep gravitational well.
NaOH is produced on an industrial scale by electrolysis of salt water, producing hydrogen at the cathode and chlorine at the anode. Due to the disappearance of protons H + at the cathode and Cl- at the anode, the NaCl solution is converted net into a NaOH solution.
If the NaOH is to be prepared from seawater electrolysis, huge amounts of chlorine will be produced as a byproduct. Where will this chlorine be stored and what can it be used for, now that chlorine in inorganic compounds is increasingly being replaced by active oxygen, aka peroxide?
In the following article, we could estimate the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere of Venus to calculate the amount of NaOH required.
Or is there a reader who has already performed these estimates and calculations?