${CO_2}$ is plentiful in Martian atmosphere. $H_2$ can be produced on Mars using sunlight and can be reacted with $CO_2$ to form $H_2O+C$, or $CH_4+H_2O$.

Is it a feasible chemical reaction?

  • $\begingroup$ One has to either bring H2 from Earth or extract it from underground water ice which is much more laborsome to find and dig up than to just pump CO2 from the atmosphere. $\endgroup$ – LocalFluff Aug 10 '15 at 8:08
  • $\begingroup$ Why do you want to produce methane? $\endgroup$ – gerrit Aug 10 '15 at 9:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raptor_(rocket_engine) $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Aug 10 '15 at 17:34
  • $\begingroup$ Required reading: The Case for Mars. $\endgroup$ – Martin Schröder Aug 10 '15 at 22:30

Is production of methane possible on Mars?

Yes, via the Sabatier process. This has been proposed multiple times as a type of in-situ resource utilization on Mars. All that's needed is energy (e.g., sunlight), CO2, and hydrogen. The first two are easily obtainable. Except near the poles, the last is a bit of a challenge.


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