NASA Challenge - CO2 Conversion

  • #1
Tom.G
Science Advisor
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NASA is looking for a process to use CO2 as a Carbon source on Mars; ultimate goal is to use the Carbon in the synthesis of other products.

$50,000 prize.

Open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and U.S. business entities, work must be done in the U.S.,

https://www.co2conversionchallenge.org/#home
 

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  • #2
jim hardy
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Looks like Navy might have a head start. They can make jet fuel out of the CO2in seawater.

upload_2018-9-4_0-6-32.png


I'm not enough of a chemist to assess difference between hydrocarbons and carbohydrates though.

Seems right out of Science Fiction's Golden Age, doesn't it ?

old jim
 

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  • #3
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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Look into Fischer-Tropsch synthesis.

"Liquid transportation hydrocarbon fuels and various other chemical products can be produced from syngas via the well-known and established catalytic chemical process called Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis, named after the original German inventors, Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch in the 1920s," and it was industrialized in the 1930s.
https://www.netl.doe.gov/research/coal/energy-systems/gasification/gasifipedia/ftsynthesis

CO2 can be decomposed in a hydrogen environment with electrolysis, or electrical discharge, or radiolysis. One can produce methylene, and even carbon black. That's been known for decades.
 
  • #4
Borek
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So the Sabatier process, researched for Mars Direct project, is no longer a valid option?
 
  • #5
DrDu
Science Advisor
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So the Sabatier process, researched for Mars Direct project, is no longer a valid option?
Apparently, they like sugars as outcome.
 
  • #6
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I would expect that the synthesis steps (=this challenge*) are the easier parts - you can use well-established processes from Earth. Cleaning the CO2 from dust and the other gases is a challenge unique to Mars.

* according to the rules you can use a source of pure CO2.
Other consumable reagents/catalysts are of course allowed as part of the conversion process (e.g., acids/bases/metals).
That is interesting (highlight from me).
 

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