XPRIZE and COSIA partner to solve the carbon challenge

The $20-million competition seeks to upscale carbon dioxide emissions

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XPRIZE Bloomberg press conference earlier this year.

XPRIZE Bloomberg press conference earlier this year. — Photo courtesy COSIA

XPRIZE facilitates change by inspiring innovation through competition. The non-profit organization incentivizes solutions and asks innovators to solve problems.

XPRIZE has partnered with Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) and a U.S. power company, NRG, to reframe the carbon conversation. The resulting US$20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE is dedicated to converting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants into valuable products.

Competing to convert carbon

The NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition has been in the works since 2015. A total of 47 teams from around the world have competed to create technology that will convert carbon dioxide into building materials, alternative fuels and other useful products. In April, 10 teams were selected by an XPRIZE panel of experts in chemical, biomolecular and energy fields to advance to the finals.

The finalists are impressive. One company converts carbon dioxide into bioplastics with the help of microorganisms, potentially replacing current plastics. Another enhances materials like concrete and plastic using nanoparticles cultivated from carbon dioxide emissions. Another converts carbon dioxide into methanol. The winner will be chosen as the technology that converts the most carbon dioxide into products with the highest value. If successful, this innovative approach to the carbon challenge will reinvent carbon altogether.

The finalists are now testing their technologies in the hopes of proving and upscaling for commercial use. Who will successfully convert the most carbon dioxide into high-value products?

Learn more about the competition and the teams online.

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