[ed. at least one of the teams is working on a graphene solution, we’ll follow that story in future articles]
47 Entries from 7 Countries Compete to Convert CO2 into Valuable Products; World Leading Chemical, Biomolecular and Energy Experts to Advise in Global Innovation Challenge
LOS ANGELES (July 27, 2016) — XPRIZE, the world’s leader in designing and managing incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, today announced a total of 47 entries from seven countries will contend to win the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, a global competition to develop breakthrough technologies that convert the most CO2 into one or more products with the highest net value. Competing teams hail from Canada, China, India, Finland, Switzerland, Scotland and the United States. An Advisory Board of nine leading experts in the fields of chemical and biological engineering, energy and sustainability and public policy, also announced today, will advise the Carbon XPRIZE.
The NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, launched in September 2015, addresses global CO2 emissions by incentivizing innovative solutions to convert CO2 from a liability into an asset. The 4-½ year competition will include two tracks, with the new technologies tested at either a coal power plant or a natural gas facility. Among the teams competing are leading carbon capture technology companies, top-tier academic institutions, non-profits, new startups and even a father and son team. A complete listing of teams competing in Round 1 is posted on the XPRIZE site.
“These teams, as well as our advisory board, represent an exciting mix of talent with expertise across a broad spectrum of sciences that will be applied to create technologies that mitigate CO2 emissions globally,” said Paul Bunje, Ph.D., principal and senior scientist, Energy and Environment group at XPRIZE. “Such widespread interest and support demonstrates an unwavering global commitment to take a radical leap forward to address climate change.”
“NRG’s sponsorship of XPRIZE accelerates the development and use of carbon capture technologies that help to address climate change,” said Ben Trammell, SVP, Engineering & Construction at NRG. “By crowdsourcing the best minds, XPRIZE and its sponsors are transforming a waste product and cleaning the planet. This prize gets a much-needed dialogue started with experts from around the world, with diverse backgrounds, all to help turn CO2 into a positively viewed byproduct.”
“The Carbon XPRIZE is harnessing global innovators to reimagine carbon and change it from a liability into a resource, from a waste into a valuable product. As a scientist, I know from experience that when you focus a challenge and incentivize smart people to think about how to address that challenge from different angles and different perspectives, good things happen,” said Dan Wicklum, COSIA chief executive. “COSIA is excited about what’s going to come out of this challenge – good things are going to happen.”
The $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE features three rounds of competition. In Round 1, each team submitted project documents surrounding technical and business viability assessments of its approach, and independent panel judging underway. Up to 15 semi-finalist teams in each track are scheduled to be announced on Oct. 15, 2016. Round 2 enables teams to demonstrate their technologies in a controlled environment using a simulated power plant flue gas stream, with up to five teams in each track moving forward and sharing a $2.5 million milestone purse. The third round entails larger scale technology demonstration under real world conditions, with access to two test centers adjacent to existing power plants. In each track, the winner will be awarded a $7.5 million grand prize.
In addition to finalizing the overall competitor pool, the Carbon XPRIZE announced the formation of an advisory board of academic and industry experts that bring diverse expertise in their fields. The advisory board includes:
- Lynden A. Archer, William C. Hooey Director of the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, James A. Friend Family Distinguished Professor at Cornell University, and the co-director of the KAUST-Cornell center for energy and sustainability.
- Michele Aresta, professor of inorganic chemistry at the University of Bari, Italy and the Isaac Manasseh Meyer Chair Professor, National University of Singapore;
- Jason Blackstock, department head and senior lecturer in the Science and Global Affairs Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at the University College London;
- Subodh Gupta, chief of research and development at Cenovus Energy;
- Eddy Isaacs, co-chair of the Energy Technology Working Group of the Canadian Council of Energy Ministers and former chief executive officer for Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions;
- Janet Peace, senior vice president of policy and business strategy at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), who also manages the center’s Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC);
- Peter Styring, chair of the CO2Chem Network, director of research for chemical and biological engineering, professor of chemical engineering and chemistry, and professor of public engagement at the University of Sheffield;
- Ben Trammell, senior vice president of engineering and construction for NRG;
- Jennifer Wilcox, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering at the Colorado School of Mines.
XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. Active competitions include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7M Adult Literacy XPRIZE, the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE and the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE. For more information, visit www.xprize.org.
About the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE
Few challenges are greater and more critical than ensuring access to clean, affordable and abundant energy. As the global energy supply remains primarily derived from fossil fuels – the leading contributor to climate change – the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE will challenge the world to reimagine what we can do with CO2 emissions by incentivizing and accelerating the development of technologies that convert CO2 from a liability into valuable products. For more information, visit: carbon.xprize.org.
NRG is the leading integrated power company in the U.S., built on the strength of the nation’s largest and most diverse competitive electric generation portfolio and leading retail electricity platform. A Fortune 200 company, NRG creates value through best in class operations, reliable and efficient electric generation, and a retail platform serving residential and commercial businesses. Working with electricity customers, large and small, we continually innovate, embrace and implement sustainable solutions for producing and managing energy. We aim to be pioneers in developing smarter energy choices and delivering exceptional service as our retail electricity providers serve almost 3 million residential and commercial customers throughout the country. More information is available at www.nrg.com/. Connect with NRG Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @nrgenergy.
COSIA (Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance) is an alliance of 13 oil sands producers, representing 90 percent of production from the Canadian oil sands. COSIA’s vision is to enable responsible and sustainable development of Canada’s oil sands as a global energy source while delivering accelerated improvement in environmental performance through collaborative action and innovation in the areas of greenhouse gases, land, tailings and water. Since COSIA’s inception in 2012, COSIA member companies have shared 814 distinct environmental technologies and innovations that cost almost $1.3 billion to develop. For more information, please visit www.cosia.ca.