The NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE is in the stretch run: XPRIZE has announced the ten teams advancing to the final round of a global competition to create technologies that convert carbon dioxide emissions from power plants into valuable products. These technologies have the potential to transform CO2 from a waste product that contributes to climate change into products with economic value, such as enhanced concrete, liquid fuels, plastics and carbon fibre.
The ten finalist teams range from carbon capture entrepreneurs and start-ups to academic institutions and companies that have been tackling the challenge for more than a decade. The finalists come from five different countries: Canada, China, India, Scotland and the United States. Each finalist team passed a first round evaluation of their technologies based on the amount of CO2 converted into products, as well as the economic value, market size and CO2-uptake potential of those products.
“These teams are showing us amazing examples of carbon conversion and literally reimagining carbon. The diversity of technologies on display is an inspiring vision of a new carbon economy,” said Dr. Marcius Extavour, XPRIZE senior director of Energy and Resources and prize lead in a news release. “We are trying to reduce CO2 emissions by converting them into useful materials, and do so in an economically sustainable way.”
The ten finalists each take home an equal share of a $5 million milestone prize. They now move on to the final stage where they will demonstrate their technologies at an industrial scale under real-world conditions. The finalists were chosen from a field of 27 semifinalists by an independent judging panel of eight international energy, sustainability and CO2 experts.
The finalists include four Canadian teams: from Calgary, Dartmouth, Montreal and Toronto.
In the finals, teams must demonstrate their technologies at a scale that is at least 10 times greater than in the semifinals. Testing will occur at one of two purpose-built industrial test sites. Five teams will test their technologies at the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre, a new carbon conversion research hub co-located with the Shepard Energy Centre natural gas power plant in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The remaining five teams will test their technologies at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC), a cutting-edge carbon research facility in Gillette, Wyoming, USA, co-located with the Dry Fork Station coal power plant.
“We’re excited to support these teams as they scale up and start demonstrating under real-world conditions at the industrial test centers. This is the final, most ambitious stage of this prize competition,” added Extavour.
The five teams that will demonstrate conversion of CO2 emissions at a natural gas-fired power plant in Calgary, Alberta are:
- C2CNT (Ashburn, VA, USA) – Led by Dr. Stuart Licht, the team is producing carbon nanotubes.
- Carbicrete (Montreal, Canada) – Led by Dr. Mehrdad Mahoutian, the team is producing cement-free, carbon-negative concrete that uses waste from steel production as an alternative to traditional cement.
- Carbon Upcycling Technologies (Calgary, Canada) – Led by Apoorv Sinha, the team is producing enhanced graphitic nanoparticles and graphene derivatives with applications in polymers, concrete, epoxies, batteries and pharmaceuticals.
- CERT (Toronto, Canada) – Led by Dr. Alex Ip of the Sargent Group at the University of Toronto, the team is producing building blocks of industrial chemicals.
- Newlight (Huntington Beach, CA, USA) – Led by Mark Herrema, the team uses biological systems to produce bioplastics.
- Breathe (Bangalore, India) – Led by Dr. Sebastian Peter, the team is producing methanol, a common fuel and petrochemical feedstock, using a novel catalyst.
- C4X (Suzhou, China) – Led by Dr. Wayne Song and Dr. Yuehui Li, the team is producing chemicals and bio-composite foamed plastics.
- Carbon Capture Machine (Aberdeen, Scotland) – Led by Dr. Mohammed Imbabi, the team is producing solid carbonates with applications to building materials.
- CarbonCure (Dartmouth, Canada) – Led by Jennifer Wagner, the team is producing stronger, greener concrete.
- Carbon Upcycling UCLA (Los Angeles, CA, USA) – Led by Dr. Gaurav Sant, the team is producing building materials that absorb CO2 during the production process to replace concrete.
For the latest information about the competition structure, important dates, and the finalist teams please visit carbon.xprize.org.