Nickel

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Ni 28
 
Nickel

Abundance: ?% (Surface)

Nickel, periodic table Ni, is a metal that is useful as a catalyst and in alloys. It is solid at room temperatures, and has a silver color. Nickel is naturally alloyed with iron in meteoric iron. Nickel has a cosmic abundance similar to that of iron and should be readily available on Mars.

Uses

Catalyst in Chemical Reactions

Nickel can be used as a catalyst in the following reactions:

Energy Storage

Nickel is used in certain battery formulations, that may play a role for energy storage in a Martian settlement. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter uses two nickel-hydrogen batteries. Mariner 8, and Mariner 9, and Mariner 10, as well as both Voyager landers used nickel-cadmium batteries. Another battery type with nickel is the nickel–iron battery, which is very robust and durable, making it a good candidate for a stationary energy storage in a Martian settlement.

Stainless Steel

Most stainless steels include some proportion of Nickel, often 8-10%.

High strength alloys

Nickel is the main element in high strength alloys such as Inconel[1], than can include from 40 to 70% nickel by mass. In these alloys, chromium is the second component and iron comes in third at 3-11%. Inconel has excellent heat and corrosion resistance characteristics and is used in the aerospace industry, such as the manifold of the SpaceX Raptor engines.

Hastelloy-N is a tough, corrosion resistant nickel alloy used in nuclear reactors.

References