Ask people to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into usable products and the sky’s the limit. 

That’s exactly what the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE asked when it launched in 2015. The Carbon XPRIZE, a partnership between the U.S.-based XPRIZE Foundation, American power company NRG, and Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), was designed to accelerate new technologies for converting CO2 emissions from industrial facilities (electricity generation and oil and gas production) into valuable and usable products. Suncor is one of seven participating companies of COSIA, supporting the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE. 

After five years of research and piloting, Carbon XPRIZE finalists have used CO2 to make concrete, additives for making everyday products like plastics and batteries stronger and more efficient, and even vodka. Through a series of videos, the finalists are sharing their technology stories through COSIA’s new Transforming the Future website. 

“After years of research and hard work, it’s exciting to see the finalists share their stories of bringing CO2 reuse technologies to life,” says Brenda Leeds Binder, Suncor’s shareholder steering committee representative for COSIA. “Their creative thinking has led to some incredible work and we wish them all good luck through the final few months of the competition.”

The competition is structured as a two-track prize, with the new technologies tested at either a coal power plant in Wyoming or a natural gas power plant in Calgary – the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre (ACCTC), which is an outdoor testing site designed specifically for demonstrating CO2 capture and conversion technologies. Suncor is a partner in the ACCTC. 

A total of US$20M will be awarded to the winning teams, with $10M awarded to each track. The featured finalists in the videos are part of the natural gas track of the competition and have been testing their technologies at the ACCTC. The competition is in the final judging stage, with a winner to be announced in 2021.

“It’s clear that passion is driving the work for these out-of-the-box thinkers,” says Brenda. “We are proud to be a part of a competition that is looking at innovative ways to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and turn it in to something usable.”

Learn more about the project teams and how they are creatively transforming the future.