Musk bankrolling a $100 million XPRIZE Carbon Removal competition for the most promising ways to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by grabbing the gas right out of the air.The 15 early-phase “milestone round” winners were announced Friday and each will get $1 million, a welcome boost for the teams to carry on with and scale up their work.
The milestone winners aren't necessarily ahead or favored for the $80 million in final prize money that will be awarded in three years. Until Dec. 1, 2023, anyone can still jump in the contest, which was announced a year ago, and potentially get a share of that money.“What we’ve said is you haven’t given us a million bucks; what you’ve done is catalyzed investment in this technology,” said Mike Kelland, CEO of Planetary Technologies, a milestone winner that seeks to increase the ocean's ability to absorb carbon dioxide by controlling the rising acidity of seawater.The final winning team or teams will need to show they can remove 1,100 tons (1,000 metric tons) of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year, show how much it would cost to remove up to 1.1 million tons (1 million metric tons) per year and show a path to removing billions of tons of carbon dioxide per year.
the grand prize to be announced on April 20, 2025.
Planetary Technologies isn't looking up into the sky but down in the ocean to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide. The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada-based company proposes to use antacids produced from the leftovers of metal mining to make the ocean more able to absorb the greenhouse gas.”
Durham, North Carolina-based 8 Rivers Capital, sees ocean chemistry as a model to replicate. The winning company seeks to trap atmospheric carbon dioxide in calcium carbonate crystals, similar to how the gas dissolved in the ocean helps form seashells and limestone.
Global Algae, based in Santee, California, won with a plan to cultivate algae to help restore rain forests, which capture huge volumes of carbon dioxide. Algae can be a more efficient and more profitable alternative to the cattle ranching and soy and palm oil crops currently on cleared rain forest land, said Mark Hazlebeck, a principal of the family-owned company. Mead Gruver on Twitter athttps://twitter.com/meadgruver.