Did you know carbon emissions could be the next great investment opportunity?
We’ve grown used to thinking of carbon as a liability—in particular, the emission of carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere which contributes to climate change.
But carbon is also present in other ways. You can find carbon in everything from the T-shirt and shoes you’re wearing and the tree in your yard, to the very cells that make up your body.
So what if we could convert carbon from a form we don’t want—CO2 emissions—into one we did? It’d be a game-changer: We could turn one of the world’s great environmental challenges into something that benefits all of us.
It’s that kind of thinking that’s inspired the global NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition, a US$20 million competition pushing innovative companies, research groups and entrepreneurs around the world to reimagine carbon. They are developing technologies that can take waste CO2 and turn it into something valuable.
The competition started in 2015 and has attracted big thinkers from around the world. The ideas have ranged from turning CO2 into concrete and running shoes to fish food and biofuels.
Forty-seven entrants have been whittled down to the 10 best—finalists from five countries who have demonstrated they are ready to take their innovations to the big stage.
What’s more, these are not ‘someday’ ideas that might make a difference many decades from now.
“This competition, and XPRIZE competitions in general, emphasize not only innovative ideas, but being able to demonstrate their real-world application,” says Dr. Marcius Extavour, XPRIZE senior director of Energy and Resources and prize lead. “The final phase of the Carbon XPRIZE which began this spring, has 10 finalists working within two test facilities to demonstrate their ideas and show to the world that their technologies can work at an industrial scale.”
The teams that succeed may be able to deploy game-changing solutions to a power plant or industrial facility near you—removing CO2 from the smokestack and turning it into shoes, concrete, plastic. Just imagine the possibilities.