$20 million Carbon XPRIZE finalists ready to test transformative CO2 technologies at Alberta’s carbon conversion centre


Canadian Natural, CNOOC Nexen, Cenovus Energy, ConocoPhillips Canada, Devon, Imperial Oil, Suncor partnered on the $20 million global competition to re-imagine CO2

Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) joined XPRIZE and NRG Energy in revealing the 10 finalists of the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE Monday at the Future of Energy Summit in New York City. The companies have all demonstrated that their carbon conversion technologies are ready for testing at commercial scale.

The 10 teams, from five countries, will take home an equal share of a $5 million milestone prize as they advance to the next stage of the competition, proving their technologies can be economically scaled up to transform CO2 into valuable, useful products, COSIA said in a press release.

Dan Wicklum, COSIA chief executive.

“COSIA’s members explore every avenue for improving their environmental performance, reducing emissions, and ultimately contributing to Canada’s emissions reduction goals,” said Dan Wicklum, COSIA chief executive.

“Our members have shared 981 technologies at a cost of $1.4 billion; between 2012 and 2016, COSIA members have reduced GHG emissions intensity by 11% at in situ operations and 9% at mining operations.”

Five finalist will compete in the oil and gas track and five in the coal track.

The oil and gas track companies will test their system’s ability to consume two tons of CO2 per day at a test centre in Calgary – the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre (ACCTC) – operated by InnoTech Alberta.

The ACCTC is one of the few places in the world where carbon conversion technologies can be tested at a commercial scale, and NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE finalists will be the first tenants to test their solutions in the natural gas track of the competition.

The other five finalist teams will conduct similar testing in the coal track of the competition at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center.

“Many of our innovations are incremental and stack up to give great results. Other innovations, like the technologies that are advancing through the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, are transformative, and have the potential to dramatically reduce GHG emissions,” Wicklum said.

“Benefits we will realize here, will have benefits far beyond the oil sands; the outcomes of the Carbon XPRIZE could have real benefits at a global scale.”

COSIA, a collaboration of Canada’s largest oil sands producers, representing 90 per cent of Canada’s oil sands production, is focused on accelerating the pace of environmental improvements in Canada’s oil sands.

Canada’s oil sands account for 9.3% of Canada’s total GHG emissions. As an important source of the world’s energy now, and for decades to come, COSIA members are continually seeking ways to reduce emissions.

Seven member companies of COSIA – Canadian Natural, CNOOC Nexen, Cenovus Energy, ConocoPhillips Canada, Devon, Imperial and Suncor– along with NRG Energy, a leading integrated power company in the U.S., partnered with XPRIZE Foundation on the $20 million global competition to reimagine CO2.

COSIA looks forward to welcoming the five finalist teams that will move into the ACCTC in this next phase. The teams are:

C2CNT (Ashburn, USA) – Led by Dr. Stuart Licht, the team is producing carbon nanotubes.

Carbicrete (Montreal, Canada) – Led by Dr. Mehrdad Mahoutian, the team is producing cement-free, carbon-negative concrete that uses waste from steel production as an alternative to traditional cement.

Carbon Upcycling Technologies (Calgary, Canada) – Led by Apoorv Sinha, the team is producing enhanced graphitic nanoparticles and graphene derivatives with applications in polymers, concrete, epoxies, batteries and pharmaceuticals.

CERT (Toronto, Canada) – Led by Dr. Alex Ip of the Sargent Group at the University of Toronto, the team is producing building blocks of industrial chemicals.

Newlight (Huntington Beach, USA) – Led by Mark Herrema, the team uses biological systems to produce bioplastics.

Ultimately, the winning teams in both the natural gas and coal tracks of the competition will each be awarded a $7.5 million grand prize in the spring of 2020.

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