Concentration of Useful Minerals from Asteroids

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T.C. Eisele (2001), JBIS, 54, 277-288

Refcode: 2001.54.277
Keywords: Asteroid processing, low-gravity processing, mineral separation, extraterrestrial resources, physical separation

Efficient extraction of useful materials from asteroids will require the physical separation of the different minerals from each other. Such separations are routinely carried out in terrestrial mining operations, but the most popular methods in current use require the use of a working fluid medium and a significant gravitational force. These methods are therefore not suitable for use in a low-gravity, high-vacuum environment. This paper describes the most promising technologies for use in asteroid processing, which are based on electrical, magnetic, fracture, and rebound effects. Methods for adapting these technologies to eliminate their dependence on gravitational forces and fluid media are discussed.

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