Back in September 2015, the Carbon XPRIZE was launched by NRG and COSIA, (Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance), of which Suncor, the proud owner of Petro-Canada, is a member. The goal of the Carbon XPRIZE, like the goal of most of the XPRIZES, is to challenge the world to develop a better future. Specifically, in the case of the Carbon XPRIZE, the challenge is to reimagine what can be done with CO2 emissions by incentivizing and accelerating the development of technologies that could convert CO2 into valuable products. Teams compete for a total prize purse of $20 million.
Now, a year later, the initial teams have all submitted their Round 1 Technical and Business Viability Assessments. 47 teams are competing; 12 of them are from Canada (in 5 different provinces). Some of the Canadian teams' ideas include:
- Retrofitting concrete plants with a technology that recycles waste carbon dioxide that can ultimately make better concrete
- Developing technology that takes advantage of natural processes discovered in deep-sea environments that can fixate carbon dioxide without the need for sunlight
- Converting CO2 emissions into algal biomass that can be used as a renewable coal substitute
While these and other teams' ideas may seem a little technical and not-necessarily-applicable to our everyday use, if any of them are successful, we may be able to start looking for labels on our plastics or household energy sources that say "Made with Recycled Carbon".
Round 1 submission review for the Carbon XPRIZE will be complete by mid-October and the semi-finalists will be announced. Semi-finalists will then work on creating a pilot scale demo of their technology.
Check out the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE submissions. Are there any that catch your eye? Have you heard of any viable schemes to transform waste emissions into valuable products?
- Rose R.