Jump to content

What If... Blood Fueled Rockets? I Am Not Joking...


Spacescifi
 Share

Recommended Posts

Blood is the only liquid I know of that actually regenerates.

 

So I came to the conclusion that... assuming one had created a large bio-mass blood bag organism that was fed plant matter to keep it alive but was otherwise non-sapient (using bio-engineering to turn bio-mass into an actual machine) could that be effective as rocket fuel in space?

 

The way I see it yes. Yet it comes with some caveauts.

 

1. You need enough plant food to feed the blood bag organism so that it won't die and will continue to make that precious blood you are using as rocket propellant. And you need to either let sunlight into your spacecraft for the plants or use sun lamps. I presume the crew can use their fecal matter for fertilizer.

 

2. Liquid reactant or nuclear reactor or antimatter. Take your pick. Blood needs to react with something.

 

Let's presume you have a 100 tons of blood as propellant but it only regenerates at the same rate as human blood.

 

What does that mean?

 

These articles are revealing.

 

https://www.blood.co.uk/the-donation-process/after-your-donation/how-your-body-replaces-blood/

 

https://www.quora.com/How-long-does-it-take-for-the-human-body-to-replace-a-pint-of-donated-blood

 

 

It would be awesome if there were a way to speed up the blood production but I reckon doing that would also increase the blood bag organism's energy (food) consumption requirements.

 

Still... it would be pretty awesome to have propellant that regenerates... allowing for space mission flexibility we currently do not have.

Edited by Spacescifi
Link to comment
Share on other sites

there was an old horror movie about a posessed ship that ran on blood. maybe '70sish. 

despite the fact that blood's job is to move oxidizer around, i dont think it would make a very good rocket fuel. especially if it coagulates.

though a biomechanical rocket does seem intriguing. makes me want an h.r. giger rocket parts kit. scorn space program.  i could dig it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Also - LOUNGE TOPIC

 

Really... I thought it was more sciency than superhero stuff?

1 hour ago, Nuke said:

there was an old horror movie about a posessed ship that ran on blood. maybe '70sish. 

despite the fact that blood's job is to move oxidizer around, i dont think it would make a very good rocket fuel. especially if it coagulates.

though a biomechanical rocket does seem intriguing. makes me want an h.r. giger rocket parts kit. scorn space program.  i could dig it. 

 

Fluorine reacts with blood... not that I recommend it.

How well blood would be with a nuclear reactor I don't know.

 

Antimatter of course makes just about anything propellant, the only benefit with blood being that you make your own propellant continuously.

 

Sure I could be less gross and have people plant waternelon and uus the juice as propellant, but production on that would not be nearly as fast or regular as blood production.

 

In the natural world, animal and non-plant cellular life I think are more advanced as biological machines than plants since unlike plants, they do far more than stand pretty in the sun.

 

So blood is the fluid of the most advanced machinery we know of that is not manmade on planet earth.

 

Combining it with rocketry seems like a good if weirdly unexpected match.

Edited by Spacescifi
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So instead of just hauling around rocket fuel, you're hauling around something to make rocket fuel and everything you need to keep it alive, which would require more energy/mass than just hauling the fuel.

What's the advantage, beyond being able to scream "BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD ENGINE!"?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, razark said:

So instead of just hauling around rocket fuel, you're hauling around something to make rocket fuel and everything you need to keep it alive, which would require more energy/mass than just hauling the fuel.

What's the advantage, beyond being able to scream "BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD ENGINE!"?

 

Having virtually infinite delta v that's what.

 

So long you have enough plant mass to feed it before next harvest you would never run out of blood.

Granted... the vessel would be far easier to scale up than down... so that may lower it's overall thrust unless you are using antimatter/blood reactions for thrust.

Edited by Spacescifi
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Spacescifi said:

So long you have enough plant mass to feed it before next harvest you would never run out of blood.

But you either have to carry all the foodmass, or resupply it somewhere.  Growing plants requires supplies, energy, and time.1  And laws of conservation of mass and energy plus entropy mean that you're getting less usable energy and mass out of the system than you feed into it.

Again, you have to consider if this is actually worth it, or just done for cool factor.

 

1Why bother growing plants to feed fuelbeast in the first place?  That's inefficient.  Just make a creature that you feed whatever you would use to grow the plant mass, and excretes pure rocket fuel as waste.

Edited by razark
Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, razark said:

But you either have to carry all the foodmass, or resupply it somewhere.  Growing plants requires supplies, energy, and time.1  And laws of conservation of mass and energy plus entropy mean that you're getting less usable energy and mass out of the system than you feed into it.

Again, you have to consider if this is actually worth it, or just done for cool factor.

 

1Why bother growing plants to feed fuelbeast in the first place?  That's inefficient.  Just make a creature that you feed whatever you would use to grow the plant mass, and excretes pure rocket fuel as waste.

Hmmm.... I also forgot it would need water to wash down and digest it's food... so I guess it would not work anyway unless we are recycling a whole lot of water and urine.... wait!

 

That's it!

 

Feed it beans and water and process the mega dump as rocket fuel.

 

Excrement propellant exhaust lit up with antimatter... because raw sewage gunking up a NTR is a bad idea lol.

 

We need a creature with a massive stomach and intestines to maximize production of... you know what.... and FUEL-BEAST was born.

 

I love that name by the way lol.

It probably would look like a spherical cow.

 

Edited by Spacescifi
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Spacescifi said:

Having virtually infinite delta v that's what.

You do realize that no mass is created do you not?

All you are doing is allowing a wider variety of molecules for your starting point, with the commensurate reduction in efficiency.

It would be more efficient to just have a mass of pure iron pellets that you shoot out the back than to run those pellets through a process(biological or mechanical) to make them less pure, then shooting them out the back.

If you want less pure iron, then start with pellets having an optimum purity for your engine, that way you can avoid that excess processing mass.(and you do not need to deal with strange compounds coaking up your engine until it is completely clogged and it explodes on you)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, razark said:

What's the advantage, beyond being able to scream "BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD ENGINE!"?

This highlights the shortcomings of written communication. The way you wrote it made it look like that argument alone is not enough to convince everyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Kerbart said:

This highlights the shortcomings of written communication. The way you wrote it made it look like that argument alone is not enough to convince everyone.

It does make the countdown much more exciting, doesn't it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Spacescifi said:

Hmmm.... I also forgot it would need water to wash down and digest it's food... so I guess it would not work anyway unless we are recycling a whole lot of water and urine.... wait!

It seem you also forgot how photosynthesis work. It takes water and carbon dioxide as ingredients. Photon energy is used to break bonds between hydrogen and oxygen in water molecule through complex biochemical reaction chain. Those molecules and radicals form glucose (through very complex reaction chain). Numbers of all kind of atoms is conserved and only changes in mass are very negligible relativistic effects. Photosynthesis do not make atoms from photons, it just uses photon energy to push chemical reactions.

So, aluminated mylar foil would give much more push from sun than of all those fancy plants, blood generating zombie worms and waste recycling devices.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is no such thing as infinite delta v. Plants are made for 95% (or more) out of CO2 (material) and sunlight (energy to convert said material). So you have to drag along carbon and oxygen to grow your plants. You also have to drag along energy to create said sunlight, since you don't have to go all that far for the variant that comes from the actual sun to be too weak to allow for photosynthesis.

Funnily enough, carbon and oxygen are the main components of rocket fuel (or 'reaction mass', for those who insist on the somewhat silly semantics of referring to oxygen as oxidizer). So this is no different from your ISRU question. Again you're dragging along a refinery, this time it just happens to be organic instead of mechanical. The answer therefor is also the same, it is more efficient to refine your fuel at home and leave the refinery behind.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, razark said:

So instead of just hauling around rocket fuel, you're hauling around something to make rocket fuel and everything you need to keep it alive, which would require more energy/mass than just hauling the fuel.

What's the advantage, beyond being able to scream "BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD ENGINE!"?

never underestimate the power of a good blood sacrifice in fiction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

actually the human body does a few things that are stupid efficient. like neural net processing. our best ai computing platforms use megawatts and cant even out think a cockroach. meanwhile the evolutionary apex that is the human brain i think uses somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 watts. out muscles are also stupid efficient for how little power they consume. perhaps bio ion engines might have some credibility to them. its not like evolution hasnt figured out maxwell's equations sharks sense em fields and out nervous stems are electrochemical in nature. in fact this is likely how zerg flying units manage to get around, a bad case of gas and a biomechanical helicon antennea in its rectum, a few biomagnetic sphincters and you got a fart drive. 

ok that got vulgar fast but im sernous. how else does a mutalisk fly in space, those wings aint doing nothing. it could all be technically powered by blood, because that is a biological energy exchange medium. its just not throiwg out the tail pipe, that would be a waste. 

in terms of flight evoluition beat the wright brothers by a few million years, and biology can generate the essential lightweight structures needed for a bird (or pterodactyl) to take flight.

Edited by Nuke
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  1. Blood contains a lot of iron. Iron is heavy and will directly reduce ISP.
  2. Blood doesn’t burn very well as it’s largely water with some blood cells in it- for every litre of blood, 1000g is water and 50g or so is everything else that could conceivably burn to release energy.
  3. Blood will coagulate, forming a lumpy mess that will just clog a rocket engine’s tubes, unless it is handled very carefully; doing so for the large quantities needed for a rocket would be very difficult indeed.
  4. Where exactly do you plan to get sufficient quantities of blood to use it as a rocket propellant? The average human adult has about 5-6 litres of blood in total, which is less than 10% of their total weight- pretty terrible for a mass fraction even without the extra gubbins needed to keep them alive so they can produce more blood.
  5. There are many more energy-dense biological substances you could have picked- ethanol, bio-oils, methane- which are already produced in industrial quantities and which are superior rocket propellants to blood in almost every way. Even then, you can’t get something for nothing and you’d need to carry the raw materials required to synthesise the fuel with you (or possibly mine it in-situ if you can get hold of sufficient carbon and nitrogen to produce the fuel needed to visit the next source of carbon and nitrogen) and that’s just dead weight.
  6. Just why?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...