[{"id":1,"question":"Can competitors use a bioreactor technology?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\t\n\n

The focus of this challenge is to create physico-chemical processes that do not require living organisms or their catalytic products (e.g., enzymes) as a part of the process. Therefore bioreactors are not permitted to be a functional component of the proposed system. Also, systems such as immobilized enzymes are precluded as they rely on the growth, harvesting and purification of organisms to create the necessary process catalysts. Biologically-derived products such as plastics, wood etc. can be used for fabricating parts of the reactor system, but not as a catalytic agent.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":2,"question":"What is the NASA CO2 Conversion Challenge?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\t\n\n

The NASA CO₂ Conversion Challenge is a public competition that focuses on discovering ways to develop novel, non-biological synthesis technologies that use carbon dioxide (CO₂) as the sole carbon source to generate sugars that can then be used to manufacture a variety of products using both microbial bio manufacturing and chemical synthesis processes. The challenge asks individuals, teams, and organizations that meet the eligibility criteria to design and develop specialized technologies that can produce glucose or other targeted sugars from CO₂ to help advance sustainable space and Earth-based manufacturing approaches.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":3,"question":"Why is this Challenge focused on CO2 conversion?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\t\n\n

Future planetary habitats on Mars will require a high degree of self-sufficiency. This requires a concerted effort to both effectively recycle supplies brought from Earth and use local resources such as CO₂, water and regolith to manufacture mission-relevant products. CO₂ is a readily available source of carbon that can be easily obtained from the Martian atmosphere and as a by-product of human metabolism. This carbon (and oxygen) is an essential ingredient in making organic mission products such as food, nutrients, medicines, plastics, fuels, and adhesives. While carbon-containing molecules may be present in mission waste products or in planetary soils, these materials are difficult to use as feedstock for effective manufacturing processes.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":5,"question":"Do I have to participate in phase 1 in order to participate in phase 2?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

NASA envisions this competition having two phases. Phase 2 is contingent on the emergence of promising submissions in Phase 1 that demonstrate a viable approach to achieve the Challenge goals. Teams do not have to participate in phase 1 in order to participate in phase 2. However, any team registering for phase 2 must provide specific information that shows they are equipped to successfully compete in phase 2. The full description of requirements for phase 1 can be found in the official rules on the challenge site. The official rules and requirements for Phase 2 will be released prior to the opening of Phase 2.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":6,"question":"How will submissions be assessed?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

During Phase 1: Concept, each valid application will receive scores and comments from a highly qualified Evaluation Panel who will use a trait-scoring rubric to assess their assigned submissions. All scores are normalized to ensure a Level Playing Field for everyone. Based on the rank order of submissions as determined by the Evaluation Panel, up to five top-scoring submissions will be named as Finalists and will receive $50,000 each.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":6,"question":"I'd like to participate - how do I get started?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

You must first register no later than 5:00 PM Central on January 24, 2019. Registration is a simple two-step process. First, create a username and password and then check your inbox to confirm your registration. Next, complete the online registration form. Once you are registered, submit your application no later than 5:00 PM Central on February 28, 2019.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":7,"question":"What can I win?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

During Phase 1: Concept, up to five Finalists will receive an award of $50,000.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":8,"question":"What is the collection method for the molecules? How should they be captured to use for conversion?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\t\n\n

In answering this question, it is assumed that the “molecules” referred to are CO2 molecules. For this challenge, no capture/collection/concentration of CO2 is required. It is expected that a pure source of CO2 (e.g., compressed CO2 in a tank) will be used as the CO2 source. While it is permissible to use other methods of CO2 sourcing, the source must not contain other carbon-bearing molecules (e.g., carbon monoxide, methane, etc.) that could contribute to intended CO2 conversion products. The products produced must be able to made from CO2 and hydrogen source molecules only. It is up to the team members to decide how they would like to source hydrogen.Other consumable reagents/catalysts are of course allowed as part of the conversion process (e.g., acids/bases/metals).

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":9,"question":"Do we have to use a bioreactor for the conversion?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\t\n\n

The use of a bioreactor is not allowed as a component in the conversion of CO2 to products, nor required to demonstrate utilization of CO2 conversion products. 

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":10,"question":"How do you expect the teams to collect hydrogen?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

It is up to the team members to decide how they would like to source hydrogen. Potential examples include compressed hydrogen in tanks, hydrogen from electrolysis of water, etc.). The hydrogen stream cannot contain other carbon-bearing molecules (e.g., methane) that could contribute to the intended organic product formation.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":10,"question":"Will there be potential to test/send the entries to space or ISS for further testing?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

At this time, the Challenge will not directly lead to space-based testing or demonstrations. There is, however, the potential for all eligible participants to apply for future NASA grants and other opportunities which could possibly lead to further testing and eventual testing in space.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":11,"question":"What happens to my intellectual property?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

While the Proposal Title, Technical Abstract, and Video for your submission may be published on this website and/or the NASA website, neither NASA nor any of the entities administering this competition shall obtain any right, title, claim or interest in the Entry, except as expressly identified by You to us in writing in Your application. NASA claims no right, title, or interest to any such intellectual property solely as a consequence of your participation in the competition, including the winning of a prize.  NASA reserves the right to share any submissions received with its civil servants and contractors, and reserves the right to approach individual participants about any future opportunities at the conclusion of the competition.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":12,"question":"How can I contact someone at NASA about my application?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

Please direct all questions regarding your CO2 Conversion Challenge to questions@co2conversionchallenge.org, and a member of our support team will respond as quickly as possible.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":13,"question":"Who is eligible to participate?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

Anyone can participate in the competition as long as they meet the eligibility requirements as stated in the Official Rules, and they are not a citizen or an entity from a country listed on the NASA Export Control Program List of designated countries under Category 2/Column 2. (The current list of designated countries can be found here)

\n\n

NASA welcomes applications from individuals, teams, and organization or entities that have a recognized legal existence and structure under applicable law (State, Federal or Country) and that are in good standing in the jurisdiction under which they are organized with the following restrictions:

\n\n
    \n
  1. Individuals must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States, and must be 18 years or older.
  2. \n\n
  3. Organizations must be an entity incorporated in and maintaining a primary place of business in the United States.
  4. \n\n
  5. Teams must be comprised of otherwise eligible individuals or organizations, and led by an otherwise eligible individual or organization.
  6. \n\n
  7. Teams must conduct their demonstration work in facilities based in the United States, to include AK, HI and U.S. territories.
  8. \n
\n\n

Refer to the Rules for a complete set of eligibility requirements.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":14,"question":"Can a person with a green card (not US citizen) participate in the competition?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

Foreign citizens may only participate through an eligible US entity as

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":15,"question":"I am a Federal Employee, may I participate? ","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

U.S. government employees may enter the competition, or be members of prize-eligible teams, so long as they are not acting within the scope of their Federal employment, and they rely on no facilities, access, personnel, knowledge or other resources that are available to them as a result of their employment except for those resources available to all other participants on an equal basis.

\n\n

U.S. government employees participating as individuals, or who submit applications on behalf of an otherwise eligible organization, will be responsible for ensuring that their participation in the Competition is permitted by the rules and regulations relevant to their position and that they have obtained any authorization that may be required by virtue of their government position.  Failure to do so may result in the disqualification of them individually or of the entity which they represent or in which they are involved.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":16,"question":"We’re a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program grantee. Can we apply?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\t\n\n

If you are a past grantee of the SBIR program, you may apply. If you are a current grantee, please note that no U.S. government funds may be used to prepare your submission. If you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact us at questions@c02conversionchallenge.org.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":"img/faq-demo-image.png"},{"id":17,"question":"Can you participate as an individual in the competition?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

Individuals can participate in the competition as long as they meet the eligibility requirements as stated in the Official Rules.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":18,"question":"Can we add additional team members after we have registered and completed the Team Registration form?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

New team members may be added to the team after the initial registration period ends.  Team members previously registered for the challenge on one team may not switch teams during the same phase of the competition.  The Team Leader must submit a revised Team Roster notifying NASA of the change, and the new team member(s) must sign an Adoption Agreement and Foreign Participation form (if applicable).  Any changes to the team roster are not official until accepted by NASA. The existing Team Leader is accountable for any decision to make changes to the team roster, including bringing on new team members and/or releasing registered team members.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":19,"question":"Is it necessary to convert CO2 to 3C or larger compound in Phase I?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

The Phase I portion of the challenge does not require that actual CO2 conversion be performed. It only requires a plan to make the listed target compounds. If there is some work completed regarding hardware development and testing in pursuit of submitting the Phase I plan, that can be included in the Phase I submission. But the overall intent of the Phase I submission is to evaluate your plan regarding how you would intend to create an actual system that can synthesize the listed compounds. The fabrication and demonstration of your proposed system is the intent of Phase II.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":20,"question":"Can we propose two-step-approach to convert CO2? Does a two-step proposal have a disadvantage? ","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

The Phase I portion of the challenge does not require that actual CO2 conversion be performed. It only requires a plan to make the listed target compounds. If there is some work completed regarding hardware development and testing in pursuit of submitting the Phase I plan, that can be included in the Phase I submission. The conversion of CO2 to the listed challenge compounds can certainly be accomplished in multiple steps. While there is no outright penalty in using multiple steps, in general plans for systems that minimize mass, power and volume, consumables, etc., will be favored during judging. The fabrication and demonstration of your proposed system is the intent of Phase II.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":21,"question":"Is a hydroponic solution to the CO2 conversion challenge barred from entering the competition?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

The challenge has the requirement that the CO2 conversion occur without the use of biological systems. It must use physicochemical systems only. If the proposed solution would use a “hydroponic solution” within a biological process, then this would not be allowed.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":21,"question":"What is the required $250,000.00 insurance coverage needed for and why?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

Please refer to section 11.3 of the team agreement, \"this liability insurance shall cover (A) a third party for death, bodily injury, or property damage, or loss resulting from an activity carried out in connection with participation in a competition, with the Federal Government named as an additional insured under the registered Competitor’s insurance policy and registered Competitors agreeing to indemnify the Federal Government against third party claims for damages arising from or related to competition activities; and (B) the Federal Government for damage or loss to Government property resulting from such an activity.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":22,"question":"What does “no biological component” mean in the application summary description?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

The focus of this challenge is to create physico-chemical processes that do not require living organisms or their catalytic products (e.g., enzymes) as a part of the process. Systems such as immobilized enzymes are precluded as they rely on the growth, harvesting and purification of organisms to create the necessary process catalysts. Biologically-derived products such as plastics, wood etc. can be used for fabricating parts of the reactor system, but not as a catalytic agent.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":23,"question":"Are we allowed to use any bioreactor at all in the system?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

Bioreactors are not allowed to be a functional component of the system. The CO2 conversion system must use non-biological methods to convert the CO2 to target products. The CO2 for this system can be obtained from a pure source such as bottled CO2 or some other CO2 containing gas that does not have other carbon-containing molecules. The CO2 flow rate is a parameter that you can control - no restrictions are given at this time. The primary goal is to convert CO2 to one of the compounds listed in the challenge rules. There are also no yield limitations, though higher yields will be preferred. The information about the challenge is contained only within the challenge text on the website. There are no further project briefs.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":24,"question":"Why don't you just use cyanobacterias, photosensitive algae or plants to produce energy out of CO2?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

The reason this challenge excludes biological processes is that biological systems are already established as the principal means of producing sugar. The challenge is interested in creating new methods that can use CO2 and H as the major input sources that are faster, more selective towards targeted products, and more energy efficient than biological methods.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":25,"question":"Could our design concept for the CO2 Conversion Challenge produce Glucose Syrup?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

Yes, glucose syrup would be an acceptable product. High concentrations of glucose, or other targeted products listed in the challenge, are not required but would be considered highly beneficial.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":26,"question":"We have a renewable energy concept to generate electric energy. Is that of interest?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

This challenge is specifically for the conversion of CO2 to create substrates for microbial bio manufacturing. Research on other topics may be of interest to NASA. We suggest that you explore the NSPIRES website for other potential NASA funding opportunities.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":27,"question":"Is the goal of the challenge to convert co2 to sugar through an apparatus?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

The focus of this challenge is to create physico-chemical processes that do not require living organisms or their catalytic products (e.g., enzymes) as a part of the process to generate the targeted products. Systems such as immobilized enzymes are precluded as they rely on the growth, harvesting and purification of organisms to create the necessary process catalysts. Biologically-derived products such as plastics, wood etc. can be used for fabricating parts of the reactor system, but not as a catalytic agent.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":28,"question":"While a bioreactor is not allowed, is a tank of seawater, bubbles of CO2, and a diatoms allowed?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

The focus of this challenge is to create physico-chemical processes that do not require living organisms or their catalytic products (e.g., enzymes) as a part of the process to generate the targeted products. Systems such as immobilized enzymes are precluded as they rely on the growth, harvesting and purification of organisms to create the necessary process catalysts. Diatoms are living biological entities and would not be considered acceptable for this challenge.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":30,"question":"If my entry idea does not specifically convert CO2 and hydrogen, would my entry stand a chance?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

The focus of this challenge is specifically on producing a method that can convert CO2 and hydrogen to the listed target compounds. Other topics will not be considered for this challenge.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":31,"question":"Must the $50,000 prize be used for research and development of the proposal? ","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

The Phase I prize money does not need to be used for any particular purpose. A competitor that wins a Phase I prize is not obliged to participate in any further activity.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":32,"question":"What is the relationship between this website and NASA?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

NASA is the sponsoring agency for the CO2 Conversion Centennial Challenge.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":33,"question":"Would technology that converts CO2 to syngas qualify or is it restricted to CO2 to glucose?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

The conversion of CO2 to carbon monoxide is an allowable part of the overall process, however the challenge goal is to produce one of the targeted compounds (sugars) listed in the challenge. Only producing carbon monoxide will not satisfy the challenge rules, and would therefore not be eligible for winning one of the monetary prizes.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":34,"question":"I can produce Oxygen from CO2 rich air, using waste water. How should I prove the system works? Are there limitations?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

The focus of this challenge is to create physico-chemical processes that do not require living organisms (plants, microbes, etc.) or their catalytic products (e.g., enzymes) as a part of the process. Therefore a plant/algae/fish based system does not comply with the intent of this challenge. There is currently no limit specified regarding the mass, power and volume of the system, but an overarching goal is to minimize these aspects while converting CO2 to sugars.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":35,"question":"Is there a reason that biological systems are not acceptable? Are there any exceptions?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

The reason this challenge excludes biological processes is that biological systems are already the principal means of producing sugar. The challenge is interested in creating new methods that can use CO2 and H as the major input sources that are faster, more selective towards targeted products, and more energy efficient than biological methods. NASA conducts calls for proposals on various topics that may be related to this challenge, where proposers can submit their concepts. Please see this website.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":36,"question":"Since a bio-reactor is not permitted, does that mean that no organisms are allowed?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

The focus of this challenge is to create physico-chemical processes that do not require living organisms or their catalytic products (e.g., enzymes) as a part of the process to generate the targeted products. Systems such as immobilized enzymes are precluded as they rely on the growth, harvesting and purification of organisms to create the necessary process catalysts. Biologically-derived products such as plastics, wood etc. can be used for fabricating parts of the reactor system, but not as a catalytic agent. With respect to reactors, a water bath is certainly allowed.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":37,"question":"In phase 2, with a prize purse of up to $750,000, would up to 5 finalists receive $150,000 each?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

The details of Phase 2 of the challenge are still under development and will be shared publicly as soon as they are finalized.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":38,"question":"Will providing a budget analysis for the proposed work in phase 2 be seen as a plus in the phase 1 proposal?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

While a budget analysis is not required in the Phase I submission, it is permissible to include it. A thorough budget analysis will provide information that will potentially aid judges in understanding the prospect of fabrication and testing, and overall feasibility.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":39,"question":"How is the prize purse for phase 2 to be distributed?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

The details of Phase 2 of the challenge are still under development and will be shared publicly as soon as they are finalized.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":40,"question":"Would a modular type system, joining aspects of the proposed solution together on Mars, be acceptable?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

The utilization of multiple components for carrying out the conversion is perfectly acceptable and anticipated. Modularity of the components can offer both advantages and disadvantages. For example, modularity may allow separate components that have different maintenance requirements or lifespans to be more readily serviced or replaced. Modularity may also allow a range of compounds/processes to occur with modest changes (component change-out) in the system. In contrast, integrated units may benefit from decreased volume and mass, and simplified control system coordination. Therefore the benefits or detriments will be judged on a case-by-case basis.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":41,"question":"Would including potential terrestrial applications of our technology be viewed favorably?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

While the primary judging metric of the challenge is directed towards space applications, the potential for the technology to additionally provide terrestrial benefits will be considered favorably. Please feel free to include discussion on potential terrestrial applications.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":42,"question":"Would risk mitigation strategies be helpful to our chances?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

In general, techniques that provide robustness, reliability, and resilience are favored. The potential to use in situ resources during missions to mitigate risk and provide sustainability may be considered favorably, but will depend on the feasibility of implementation. For example, if a metal catalyst can be obtained from Martian regolith, but it requires extensive processing (e.g., multi-step separations and purification) and fabrication (e.g., complicated surface coating procedures) to implement, this may not be viewed as a viable method. Please feel free to include discussion of intended risk mitigation approaches in the Phase I submission, as it will provide a greater depth of understanding for judging potential implementation strategies.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":43,"question":"Is there a targeted TRL for the end of phase 2?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

The details of Phase 2 of the challenge are still under development and will be shared publicly as soon as they are finalized.

\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":44,"question":"What is the daily capacity of a glucose synthesis unit?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

There is currently no daily target production level for glucose or the other target products. The potential need for these target compounds is not defined for future mission scenarios. Therefore, it is suitable for contestants to select their own desired level of production for the Phase I submission. It is permissible to select a small amount to provide a proof of concept and feasibility assessment, or to provide a larger scale conversion system to demonstrate scaled operation. For this challenge, the judges will be examining many facets of the technology, such as energy use, yield, and selectivity of the target compounds. Scaling potential will also be considered, but there are no known target compound supply requirements developed as of now. Regardless, the ability of a system to readily scale will be considered favorably.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":45,"question":"What are the maximum dimensions and weight the installation should have?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

There are no dimensional or mass design requirements established for Phase I submission. However, due to the inherent mass, power and volume constraints during space travel, minimizing these factors is crucial to implementation. The cost and availability of electrical power or light to drive conversions will depend on the specific characteristics of future missions scenarios. Mass and volume will also exert variable costs depending on mission location, duration, and other factors. Therefore, it is advisable that contestants design their systems with these general design constraints in mind.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""},{"id":46,"question":"What should be the marginal energy consumption for the production of 1 gram of glucose?","answer":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

There are no constraints on the energy utilized for target compound production for this challenge. However, due to the high cost of providing power during space missions, contestants should strive to minimize energy requirements of their process in accordance with overall system optimization of their system.

\n\n\n\n\t\n","imageUrl":""}]