27 Teams Advancing In $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE

27 Teams Advancing In $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE

Teams in Global Competition Want to Convert CO2 Waste into Products Ranging from Building Materials to Toothpaste


LOS ANGELES (October 17, 2016) — XPRIZE, the world’s leader in designing and managing incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, today announced the 27 teams representing six countries advancing in the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, a global competition to develop breakthrough technologies that convert the most carbon dioxide emissions from natural gas and power plant facilities into products with the highest net value. The semi-finalist teams propose converting CO2 into products as varied as enhanced concrete, biofuels, toothpaste, nanotubes, fish food and fertilizer.

Launched in September 2015, the competition addresses global CO2 emissions by incentivizing innovative solutions to convert CO2 from a liability into an asset. The four-and-a-half-year competition includes the demonstrations by finalist technologies at either a coal or a natural gas power plant. Semi-finalist teams hail from Canada, China, India, Switzerland, Scotland and the United States. Among the teams competing are innovative carbon capture technology companies, top-tier academic institutions, non-profits and new startups. Six of the teams are competing in both the coal and natural gas competition tracks.

“The selected semi-finalists show that innovation can come from anywhere, determined by our expert judging panel to represent the most promising and innovative submissions in the competition,” said Dr. Paul Bunje, principal and senior scientist, Energy & Environment, XPRIZE. “We believe that these teams will push the boundaries of CO2 utilization and create breakthrough solutions that will tackle a significant source of CO2 emissions.”

The 27 teams advancing to the semi-finalist round are:

Competition Track A (coal) includes 12 teams creating technologies for use at a coal power plant:

  • Aljadix (Switzerland) – Led by Thomas Digby, the team is producing carbon negative biofuel.
  • Breathe (India) – Led by Sebastian Peter, the team is producing methanol.
  • C4X (China) – Led by Wayne Song, the team is producing methanol and bio-composite boards.
  • Carbon Capture Machine (Scotland) – Led by Mohammed Imbabi, the team is producing solid carbonates.
  • Carbon Cure (Canada) – Led by Jennifer Wagner, the team is producing enhanced concrete.
  • Carbon Upcycling Technologies (Canada) – Led by Apoorv Sinha, the team is producing graphitic nanoparticles.
  • Carbon Upcycling UCLA (United States) – Led by J.R. DeShazo, the team is producing 3D-printed concrete replacement building material.
  • EE-AGG (United States) – Led by Mark Edelman, the team is producing methanol.
  • Innovator Energy (United States) – Led by Ethan Novek, the team is producing syngas and acetic acid.
  • Low-Energy-Consumption CO2 Capture and Conversion (United States) – Led by Maohong Fan, the team is producing fuels and chemicals.
  • Opus 12 (United States) – Led by Etosha Cave, the team is producing plastics, fertilizers, and gasoline.
  • Terra COH (United States) –Led by Jimmy Randolph, the team is producing energy storage and retrieval, and electricity generation.

Competition Track B (natural gas) includes 21 teams creating technologies for use at a natural gas power plant:

  • C2CNF (United States) – Led by Stuart Licht, the team is producing carbon nanotubes.
  • Carbicrete (Canada) – Led by Yuri Mytko, the team is producing carbon-negative construction blocks.
  • Carbon Cure (Canada) – Led by Jennifer Wagner, the team is producing enhanced concrete.
  • Carbon Upcycling Technologies (Canada) – Led by Apoorv Sinha, the team is producing graphene nanoplatelets.
  • Carbon Upcycling UCLA (United States) – Led by J.R. DeShazo, the team is producing 3D-printed concrete replacement building material.
  • CAT.ALY.ST (United States) – Led by Stafford Sheehan, the team is producing biofuels.
  • CERT (Canada) – Led by Ted Sargent, the team is producing formic acid.
  • CO2 Solutions (Canada (TSX-V:  CST)) – Led by Dr. Louis Fradette, the team is producing a high-value bioproduct.
  • Dimensional Energy (United States) – Led by Jason Salfi, the team is producing hydrocarbon fuels.
  • EE-AGG (United States) – Led by Mark Edelman, the team is producing methanol.
  • Hago Energetics (United States) – Led by Wilson Hago, the team is producing gas and liquid fuels.
  • Ingenuity Lab (Canada) – Led by Carlo Montemagno, the team is producing dihydroxyacetone (DHA) and other chemicals.
  • Innovator Energy (United States) – Led by Ethan Novek, the team is producing syngas and acetic acid.
  • Low-Energy-Consumption CO2 Capture and Conversion (United States) – Led by Maohong Fan, the team is producing fuels and chemicals.
  • Newlight (United States) – Led by Mark Herrema, the team is producing polymers.
  • Pond Technologies Carbon Cyclers (Canada) – Led by Peter Howard, the team is producing biodiesel and solid biofuel.
  • Protein Power (United States) – Led by Lisa Dyson, the team is producing high-protein fish food.
  • RES Kaidi (United States) – Led by Mark Robertson, the team is producing dimethyl ether (DME) for chemical feedstock or fuel.
  • Tandem Technical (Canada) – Led by Jerry Flynn, the team is producing health supplements, toothpaste, paint and fertilizers.
  • Terra CO2 Technologies (Canada) – Led by Dylan Jones, the team is producing metal carbonate compounds and sulphur byproducts.
  • White Dog Labs (United States) – Led by Bryan Tracy, the team is producing acetone.

“We’re excited by the diverse proposals from teams hailing from differing geographies,” said Ben Trammell, SVP, Engineering & Construction at NRG. “Finding a viable and compelling solution for converted CO2 is an enormous task. The XPRIZE attracts a diverse talent pool too, which allows teams to bring groundbreaking ideas to the forefront.”

“Through the Carbon XPRIZE, these global teams are moving forward to address CO2 in a truly exciting way,” said Dan Wicklum, COSIA chief executive. “These teams perfectly represent the spirit, passion and promise that take us from problems to solutions. By reimagining what can be done to turn CO2 into a multitude of useful products, the Carbon XPRIZE semi-finalists are poised to provide the world with solutions to positively address this challenge that we face today.”

Semi-finalists participating in Round 2 will demonstrate their technology at pilot scale at a location of their own choosing, using either real flue gas or simulated flue gas. Over the course of a ten-month period, teams must meet minimum requirements and will be scored on how much CO2 they convert and the resulting net value of their products. Following Round 2 judging scheduled for November and December 2017, up to five teams in each track that score the highest will share a $2.5 million milestone purse and move onto the finals of the competition.

In the Final Round, teams will demonstrate their technology under real-world conditions at a larger scale, with access to two test centers adjacent to existing power plants. Teams competing in the coal track will test their technologies at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC), a cutting-edge carbon research facility in Gillette, WY. Teams competing in the natural gas track will test their technologies at a natural gas power plant in Alberta, Canada, to be announced this fall.

For more information about each team, visit carbon.xprize.org/teams.

For more information about the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, visit carbon.xprize.org and read Dr. Bunje and Dr. Extavour’s latest blog post here.

About XPRIZE
XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. XPRIZE utilizes a unique combination of gamification, crowd-sourcing, incentive prize theory, and exponential technologies as a formula to make 10x (vs. 10%) impact in the grand challenge domains facing our world.  XPRIZE’s philosophy is that—under the right circumstances— igniting rapid experimentation from a variety of diverse lenses is the most efficient and effective method to driving exponential impact and solutions to grand 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 Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE and the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE. For more information, visit www.xprize.org.

About NRG
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.

About COSIA
COSIA (Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance) is an alliance of 13 oil sands producers, representing 90 percent of Canada’s oil sands production. COSIA members are pushing the paradigm of sharing environmental technology, coming together as collaborators in innovation to solve environmental problems. Our vision is to enable responsible and sustainable development of Canada’s oil sands as a global energy source by delivering accelerated improvement in environmental performance in four environmental priority areas – greenhouse gases, tailings, water and land. Since COSIA’s inception in 2012, COSIA member companies have shared 936 distinct environmental technologies and innovations costing $1.33 billion to develop. For more information, please visit www.cosia.ca.

Media Contacts:
Eric Desatnik / Jackie Wei
310.741.4892 / 310.741.4918
eric@xprize.org / jackie.wei@xprize.org

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