September 28, 2021

3 Prototype Systems Capable of Converting CO₂ from the Air Into Glucose

On Earth, plants and ocean microbes use sunlight to turn carbon dioxide, or CO₂, into sugars for energy. Humans don't have that ability, at least not yet.

On Mars, there aren’t plants and oceans, but there is an abundance of CO₂. NASA’s CO₂ Conversion Challenge invited the public to come up with ways to convert this principal component of the Martian atmosphere into sugar, which astronauts could use to sustain life.

Today, three teams of solvers have demonstrated prototype systems capable of converting CO₂ from the air into glucose and other useful sugars. Teams Air Company of Brooklyn, New York; Hago Energetics Inc. of Thousand Oaks, California; and SSwEET from the University of California, Berkeley will take home equal shares of the $650,000 prize.

Read more about the competition and the winners here:

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