Carbyon is developing equipment to filter CO2 from the air and store it underground. Today, on Earth Day, the Dutch start-up was named a Milestone Award winner of the XPRIZE for Carbon Removal. This US$1 million incentive prize, funded by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation, is part of the four-year global XPRIZE competition. The organisation invited innovators and teams worldwide to create a solution that can extract CO2 directly from the atmosphere or oceans and store it in an environmentally friendly way for good.
"For us, winning this award means being recognised. XPRIZE is like the world championship within our field. The fact that the jury ranks our concept among the fifteen best in the world means a lot to us. It is fantastic that three years after the start of our company we are already playing at this level." Hans de Neve, CEO at Carbyon.
The aim of the XPRIZE is to encourage and help scale efficient climate innovations to collectively reach the target of 10 gigatons per year of carbon removal by 2050. The ambition is to thus combat climate change and rebalance the Earth's carbon balance. The submitted solutions were scientifically evaluated based on multiple criteria, such as the amount of CO2 removed, life cycle analysis of the removal process, energy efficiency, land footprint and storage capacity.
De Neve supports the goal of XPRIZE: "Winning the prize strengthens our conviction and ambition. We believe that carbon removal can play a significant role in countering global warming. Our greatest wish is to find solutions to the climate crisis. It would be nice if our solution is the solution, but we would prefer that there is a solution at all. I hope that by winning this Milestone Award we inspire other start-ups and innovators to apply for the next round of the competition in 2024. The more people work on a solution the better."
To win the competition, teams including Carbyon, had to show an accurately validated scale model of their solution and describe how it could be scaled up to one billion tons per year.
"We demonstrated the operation of the key component of our Direct Air Capture (DAC) solution, demonstrating that we are well-positioned to successfully complete the next step of 1,000 tons per year by 2024.
This demonstration has been verified by an independent third party, providing proof of the performance claims of the demonstrated technology in action." Says Hans de Neve.
About Carbyon's winning entry, the XPRIZE jury said, among other things – "The innovation of clusters of smaller DAC units using membranes with fast absorption/desorption cycles could be transformative for the Carbon Dioxide Removal field. This technology is well explained, and the demonstration data show promise for performance at scale."