• Musk carbon capture prize for removal from atmosphere or oceans

    Date posted:

    • Post Author

      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

In an update to the story from two weeks ago, more detail has emerged on Elon Musk’s contribution of US$100 million in prize money for carbon capture technology. The total pool of money will be split into three separate prizes of US$50 million for first, US$20 million for second, and US$10 million for third, with US$1 million given also to fifteen teams selected for the competition from initial entries, so that they can develop their technologies. (What happens to the remaining US$5 million of the prizemoney is presently unclear, though it may be used in administration of the prize.) Most significantly, the field of application is limited to capture of carbon dioxide either from the atmosphere or the oceans, which seems to exclude industrial settings, though more detail is to be released on 22 April this year. Teams must demonstrate pilot-scale implementations that capture 1 US ton (908 kg) of CO2 per day, and there must be a clear scalable pathway for the technology so that it could remove gigatons of CO2 over time. (Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are on a scale of 30-50 GT/year of CO2-equivalent emissions, so this scalability is a reasonable condition.) It appears that the competition will last four years.