UCLA’s Carbon Upcycling Team Enters $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE

UCLA’s Carbon Upcycling Team Enters $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE

Posted on

Tue, 06/07/2016 - 4:09pm

Carbon Upcycling, an interdisciplinary team from UCLA, today announced its official entry into the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE. Carbon Upcycling, headquartered in Los Angeles with 13 team members, is among a growing number of teams from around the world vying for a share of the $20-million prize purse.

The Carbon XPRIZE is a $20M competition that challenges teams to develop breakthrough technologies that convert the most CO2 into one or more products with the highest net value. Co-sponsored by NRG and COSIA, the multi-year competition is designed to address CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, a leading contributor to climate change.

Carbon Upcycling is composed of UCLA professors, students, and staff. The team has formed over the past year to explore new approaches for developing construction materials. Led by five distinguished professors including Gaurav Sant, Associate Professor and Henry Samueli Fellow in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Professor J.R. DeShazo, Director of the UCLA Luskin Center and Professor of Public Policy, Urban Planning, and Environmental Engineering, the team has succeeded in developing a new technology which transforms waste carbon dioxide from power plants into a new building material that can replace cement, a material responsible for approximately 5 percent of worldwide CO2 emissions.  

“We have proof of concept that we can do this,” DeShazo said. “But we need to begin the process of increasing the volume of material and then think about how to pilot it commercially. It’s one thing to prove these technologies in the laboratory. It’s another to take them out into the field and see how they work under real-world conditions.”

"By removing CO2 from power plant smokestacks this technology reduces the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions and could be a game-changer for climate policy," DeShazo said.

For more information about team Carbon Upcycling, please visit http://www.co2upcycling.com/. High-resolution images, video and other team materials are available upon request.

For more information about the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, visit http://carbon.xprize.org.

About Carbon Upcycling

To avoid catastrophic climate change, the world needs cleaner energy and CO2-neutral building materials. Carbon Upcycling is on the path to create just that. The team brings together an interdisciplinary group of researchers from the fields of chemistry and biochemistry, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, and economics. Carbon Upcycling is led by five distinguished UCLA professors and is a joint project between the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

About the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE

Few challenges are greater and more critical than ensuring access to clean, affordable and abundant energy. As the global energy supply remains primarily derived from fossil fuels — the leading contributor to climate change — the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE will challenge the world to reimagine what we can do with CO2 emissions by incentivizing and accelerating the development of technologies that convert CO2 from a liability into valuable products. For more information, visit: carbon.xprize.org.

NRG is leading customer-driven change in the U.S. energy industry by delivering cleaner and smarter energy choices, while building on the strength of the nation’s largest and most diverse competitive power portfolio. More information is available at www.nrg.com. COSIA (Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance) is an alliance of 13 oil sands producers, representing 90 percent of production from the Canadian oil sands, focused on collaborative action and innovation in the areas of greenhouse gases, land, tailings and water. For more information, please visit www.cosia.ca.

Carbon Upcycling, an interdisciplinary team from UCLA, today announced its official entry into the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE. Carbon Upcycling, headquartered in Los Angeles with 13 team members, is among a growing number of teams from around the world vying for a share of the $20-million prize purse.