CALGARY—A major cleantech competition that will give scientific researchers one more reason to focus on converting carbon dioxide emissions generated by fossil fuels into useful products is officially underway.
Announced last fall, Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance and NRG Energy are now accepting entries for the $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE.
Paul Bunje, the principal and senior scientist for XPRIZE, says the competition targets an often overlooked area of the carbon capture process: carbon utilization— and challenges entrants to develop new uses for captured carbon emissions.
“These products could be anything from advanced cements and ceramics, to liquid fuels, to novel materials like graphene or carbon nanotubes,” he said in a recent blog post.
Though certainly a significant enticement, Bunje thinks the $20 million purse is just an incentive. The real prize, he said, is the market potential for products and processes teams invest.
To evaluate entries, XPRIZE has said it will enlist the help of a judging panel, as well as appoint a third-party Scientific Advisory Board to evaluate a variety of approaches to CO2 conversion.