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    Musk awards $5mn to students for carbon removal

Summary

The teams were asked to submit concepts for CO2 removal and measurement, reporting and verification technologies.

by: Gas Pathways

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Musk awards $5mn to students for carbon removal

Billionaire Elon Musk's foundation has awarded $5mn to students across the world to fund research into COmonitoring and removal technologies.

The funds were awarded as a part of the Musk Foundation's larger XPRIZE competition, which will award $100mn to technology concepts for capturing CO2 from the atmosphere and oceans.  Twenty three student-led teams have secured $5mn from the foundation as part of the Carbon Removal Student Competition, XPRIZE said on November 10.

The teams were asked to submit concepts for CO2 removal and measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) technologies. Those researching CO2 removal were awarded up to $250,000 each, while those investigating MRV were given $100,000. Teams were selected from Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Spain, the UK and the US.

The teams can use the awarded funds to compete in future rounds of the $100mn competition or develop key supporting technologies for capturing CO2. To win the grand prize in the four-year contest, participants must demonstrate a means of capturing at least 1,000 metric tons/year of CO2 and provide model costs if its capacity is scaled up to 1mn mt/yr. They must also show a pathway for expanding the technology to a gigaton scale.

“We want to make a truly meaningful impact. Carbon negativity, not neutrality," Musk, who heads electric car developer Tesla and aerospace manufacturer SpaceX, said in a statement. "The ultimate goal is scalable carbon extraction technologies that are measured based on the ‘fully considered cost per ton’ which includes the environmental impact. This is not a theoretical competition; we want teams that will build real systems that can make a measurable impact and scale to a gigaton level. Whatever it takes. Time is of the essence."

This article first appeared in Gas Pathways, a platform dedicated to technology and innovation in the natural gas industry. Click here for more information.