Ten Finalists Announced for NRG COSIA Carbon Xprize

Via Nicole Lee@nicole, (Engadget)

Xprize has selected ten finalists to test CO2 recycling ideas in power plants. The finalists will be split into two tracks -one will test their tech with coal and the other with natural gas.

Each of the finalists will be awarded their equal share of $5 million and will be split into two tracks. The remaining $15 million of the prize purse will be split into two -- $7.5 million goes to the winner of each track. One group of five will test out their tech at a coal-fired power plant in Gillette, Wyoming, while the other five will head to a natural gas-fired plant in Alberta, Canada. Each team will be tasked to actually put their plans into practice in a real-world setting day after day, week after week, for a total of eight months.

Teams are evaluated based on a few different factors: just how much CO2 is converted, the economic value of the product, the market size, the CO2 uptake of the products, as well as the overall carbon footprint of the entire process. The semi-finalists already had to undergo a 10-month test period in order to get to the final stage, but because this last hurdle involves testing out their tech in real-world facilities, they'll have to scale up at least 10 times greater.

The Wyoming track (converting CO2 emissions from a coal-fired power plant):

  • Breathe (Bangalore, India) - Led by Dr. Sebastian Peter, the team is producing methanol.
  • 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.

The Alberta track (converting CO2 emissions from a natural gas-fired power plant):

  • 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.

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