Carbon XPRIZE: Transforming the Future

Technology will play a major role in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Whether through reducing emissions or lowering the energy intensity of our operations, we are committed to managing climate-related risks and opportunities. This includes sponsoring the NRG Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) Carbon XPRIZE.

Prize competitors are developing breakthrough technologies to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial processes and power generation into usable products. Breakthroughs in the conversion of CO2 could ultimately lead to new manufacturing processes and markets that can help drive down global emissions. The dual track competition, which kicked off in 2015, is funded by six companies, led by ConocoPhillips Canada under the COSIA umbrella, and NRG Energy, a leading U.S. integrated power company. The 10 finalist teams, from five different countries are competing for prizes totaling U.S. $20 million. The winners of the Carbon XPRIZE will be announced in the first half of 2021. Learn more about the competition by watching this video.

Finalists spent the past two years testing their technologies and evaluating efficacy and potential for commercial deployment. The two teams that convert the greatest amount of CO2 into products with the highest net value while minimizing their environmental footprint will be the grand prize winners. Team projects showcase a variety of innovative ideas, converting captured CO2 into products like enhanced concrete, liquid fuels, plastics, carbon fiber and vodka. To learn more about some of the finalists click on the team name:

  • Carbon Cure: Using CO2 to create stronger, “greener” concrete.
  • Carbon Upcycling: Transforming CO2 into the base materials for a wide range of products, ranging from batteries to plastics to concrete.
  • CERT: Converting CO2 into ethylene, a feedstock for numerous consumer products.
  • Air Company: Using CO2 to create chemicals such as ethanol that can be used to make Vodka or hand-sanitizers.

Read about other Carbon XPRIZE finalist teams here.

The competition is divided into two parallel tracks with five teams competing in each. The Wyoming Track teams demonstrated conversion emissions at the Integrated Test Center, adjacent to a coal-fired power plant in Gillette, WY. The Alberta Track teams demonstrated conversion of emissions at the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre, adjacent to a natural gas-fired power plant in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Coal flue gases typically contain a greater number of contaminants compared to natural gas flue gases while natural gas flue gases typically contain less CO2 by volume than coal flue gases.