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Is the Key to Earth's Energy Problem Mars?

Of course not, but I did grab your attention.  I think this has much more to do with how we are going to survive the next fifty years as fossil fuels begin to reach their life cycle end and before large scale adoption of alternative powers, including nuclear.  Currently, crude oil and its' derivatives make up 35% of the world's energy portfolio, but demand is in the process of usurping supply.  If this occurs, the results could not only be catastrophic for the world's economy but also the population.

Mars is Key to Energy? - KeenforGreen

Now what does this have to do with Mars, you ask.  Well, the Imperial College London is conducting a major study on the upcoming NASA 2018 Mars explorative mission. The study, funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), seeks to use extraction-helping materials, called surfactants, to liberate organic matter from rock in space to gain a deeper understanding into the biological environment on Mars.  This research will prove the viability of these sulfactants to remove such heavy materials, like tar, from other organic matter.

Now, to tie this all together.  The focus of many oil companies faced with increasing demand but dwindling traditional oil reserves is to try the unconventional.  This means extracting oil from sources such as tar sands.  The problem is that this requires water and lots of it.  The water used in the process is unusable for years and can possibly contaminate water sources.  This amplifies the problem of pollution.  Surfactants will hopefully be  ablt to do this work with little of the original pollution and not using water.  This should provide a suitable stepping stone period to greater renewable use, without us having to destroy the environment for the sake of a couple more barrels of oil.  Very exciting and high concept, just the kind of news keenforgreeners love.

Science and Technology Facilities Council