I was reading about the Perseverance lander on Mars and was surprised to find that it has an oxygen manufacturing instrument on board. The oxygen is needed as a part of a binary rocket fuel to get back from Mars. It makes oxygen from carbon dioxide, a technology that would be very useful for carbon capture here on Earth. I can not find the chemistry or the technology that makes this work. Does anybody know the chemistry of this instrument?
The following is the text from nasa.gov explaining the mechanism of MOXIE:
Mars’ atmosphere is 96% carbon dioxide. MOXIE works by separating oxygen atoms from carbon dioxide molecules, which are made up of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms. A waste product, carbon monoxide, is emitted into the Martian atmosphere.