Earth911 Podcast: Dr. Marcus Extavour on the $100M XPRIZE Circular Carbon Network Competition
Dr. Marcus Extavour, chief scientist and executive vice president of the XPRIZE Circular Carbon Network, talks about the state of the carbon capture industry and the winners of the first round of the $100 million circular carbon challenge funded by Tesla founder Elon Musk. They recently awarded $15 million, which was split among a group of 15 promising teams working to make carbon capture and removal scalable and efficient at the gigaton level. Marcus shares details about the winners and what technologies appear to be the most promising path to removing 150 years of excess industrial and other human CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. As previous guests have explained, CO2 is a basic building block for fuels, chemicals, construction materials, and myriad consumer products. The signs suggest that, if we can end emissions by 2050, the planet’s atmosphere could be cleaned up by 2100.
The Circular Carbon Network reports that investments in carbon capture quadrupled between 2020 and 2021, rising by $875 year over year to approximately $3 billion invested in total to date. The XPRIZE study also found that carbon technology companies are already generating revenue — 29% of the companies reported earning more than $1 million in revenue, and 56% of all carbon firms have some paying customers. This is an important industry to follow — it could remove the trillions of tons of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and eventually return us to pre-industrial CO2 levels. You can learn more about the XPRIZE Circular Carbon Network at circularcarbon.org.