It is with great pleasure that we announce the winners of the NASA Particle Partition Challenge, following an intense judging process that spanned several rounds. We were overwhelmed by the quality and novelty of the submissions received, which made judges’ decision-making all the more challenging.

This challenge sought to identify novel ways to safely and efficiently remove and collect fine carbon particles from a Bosch reactor, without impacting its performance. In recognition of the exceptional quality of the submissions, the judging panel decided to recognize six winners instead of five, leading to an adjustment in the award and prize breakdown.

We are delighted to share with you the results of the NASA Particle Partition Challenge, which will support the development of improved life support systems for future extraterrestrial habitats.

Without further ado, the winners are:

1st Place, $20,000:

  • Team Hyper Group from the Netherlands - ‘ConCEP (Continuous Centrifugal EsP)’, consisting of a set of rotating electrostatic precipitators that continuously clean its collecting plates through rotation and vibration.

2nd Place, $10,000:

  • Shawn Kozak from California, USA - ‘Bell Filter for Carbon Separation’, which uses a spinning bell filter to prevent clogging, utilizing the Coanda effect.

3rd Place, $7,500:

  • Craig Payne from Florida, USA - ‘Continuous 2-step Carbon Removal Process’, offered a continuous mechanical solution in which supported membrane filters are renewed by a cleaning cycle involving ultrasonic action.

3 x 4th Place, $2,500 each:

  • Dmitri Garin from New York, USA - ‘Roulette’, a solution consisting of a series of self-cleaning metal frit filters on revolving changer disks to filter carbon particles from a gas stream and a mechanical auger to convey loose particles into a collection container.
  • AJA's & SJA from Germany - 'Bistable SMA Inertial Impact Oscillating Filter’, a self-regenerating inertial impact filter made of a novel oscillatory shape memory alloy helical stack impactor that uses inertia in microgravity.
  • Crointel/Widget Blender from Taiwan - ‘Gravity-Independent Particle Separator (GIP)’, which utilizes a buckypaper filter-based particle capture technique for any gravity level, with high water recovery and ultrasound-enhanced performance.

Congratulations to all the winners of the NASA Particle Partition Challenge! NASA can’t wait to continue to explore these innovative ideas further.