Technical Specifications

Challenge Objective

Phase 2 of the NASA CO2 Conversion Challenge requires the demonstration of a physicochemical system that is able to produce one or more of the target compounds listed in the Challenge Target Compound table, with an associated weighting factor between 0 and 100, with D-glucose being the most preferred (the weighting factor will be used in the scoring process as discussed in section 6.3.1 below). Only sugars that are in the “D” form will be acceptable for scoring. Sugars in the “L” form are not acceptable and their mass will be subtracted from the mass of the “D” form of that sugar to calculate a final mass score. The system must use CO2 as the sole carbon source for the production of these compounds, and may not use any organic compound(s) as a feedstock. Hydrogen molecules may be supplied from either hydrogen gas (H2) or from water (H2O). The system must not rely on biological products or processes for any portion of the CO2 conversion process. While biologically-derived materials may be used for construction of the hardware, such as using plastics for structural components, no biologically-derived products may be employed to perform any aspect of the CO2 processing. The source CO2 and hydrogen can be supplied from a commercially available pure gas (i.e., tanked CO2 and H2), or verifiably obtained from an alternate source (e.g., H2 from water electrolysis). To increase the potential for use in space missions, systems that are both low mass/power/volume and scalable are sought. Likewise, the ability to make target compounds at high efficiency and specificity, and with minimal contaminants and/or toxic by-products, is preferred.

Challenge Target Compounds and Associated Weighting Factor