Dartmouth, Nova Scotia’s CarbonCure has put together a team and officially entered the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition, which will award a $20 million prize.
So far, 47 teams from around the world have entered the competition, which challenges teams to develop a breakthrough technology that can convert the largest quantity of CO₂ into high net value products.
“We believe that our technology will fundamentally change the way concrete is made globally,” said CarbonCure Founder and CEO Robert Niven. “Competing in the Carbon XPRIZE drives us to push the envelope on innovation, and establish partnerships with influential industry players, in order to demonstrate to the world that this technology will play a key role in driving down global CO₂ emissions.”
The competition has a multi-year timeline, announcing finalists in December 2017 before eventually announcing a winner and handing out a grand prize in March 2020.
Teams will be scored on how much CO₂ they convert and the net value of their products.
Team CarbonCure will be hosting demonstrations of its CO₂-utilization technology over the next four years in California, Wyoming, Alabama, and Alberta.
NRG is an American integrated power company, with power generating facilities that can generate approximately 50,000 megawatts from solar, wind, fossil and nuclear, serving nearly three million recurring retail customers in all 50 states and D.C. through its company and subsidiaries.
COSIA is Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, a coalition comprised of 13 companies that was founded in Calgary in 2012, and represents 90% of production from Canada’s oil sands.
The stated goal of the competition is to “challenge the world to reimagine what we can do with CO₂ emissions by incentivizing and accelerating the development of technologies that convert CO₂ into valuable products. These technologies have the potential to transform how the world approaches CO₂ mitigation, and reduce the cost of managing CO₂.”
CarbonCure’s technology uses carbon dioxide gas captured from industry, whether smokestacks or industrial emissions, and then chemically converts it into mineral form at which point it is permanently stored inside concrete mix, with the added side effect that it reinforces the material that is built using it.
CarbonCure’s technology is currently in use in 35 concrete plants supplying more than 100 construction projects in North America.
Team CarbonCure is made up of scientists, engineers and business leaders from the cement and concrete, industrial gas, and green building industries who will work to develop new approaches to capture and convert CO₂ from industrial sources and sequester it into concrete.
Including team members from across the value chain is meant to develop the best, mostly easily deployed solution available through a collaboration between suppliers and end users.
Concrete is a major cause of CO₂ emissions, so companies have increasingly been looking for a technology capable of mitigating their footprint and have been turning to CarbonCure in greater numbers, citing it as a cost effective, highest impact and scalable solution that is currently available.
CarbonCure raised a seed round of $1.6 million led by Innovacorp in early 2012, followed by a $3.5 million round led by BDC Ventures in December 2013, and finally a $3 million round led by Pangea Ventures in May 2015.