Elon Musk’s $100M carbon removal competition names teams eligible for $1M Milestone Awards

It has been over a year since Elon Musk announced his $100 million XPrize carbon removal competition. XPrize, the company handling the $100 million reward, recently announced that 287 teams are eligible to win the competition’s fifteen $1 million Milestone Awards, separate from the main prize purse.

XPrize chose 287 teams out of the 1,133 teams that joined Elon Musk’s carbon removal competition this round for the Milestone Awards.

“The submission requirements for the Milestone Awards were certainly rigorous and extensive. Teams were required to demonstrate a working carbon removal solution, estimate cost at full scale, and make a case and a plan for scaling and deploying their solutions at megatin and gigaton per year capacity – the scale relevant to move the needle on climate change,” noted XPrize.

Team Phoenix is a qualified competitor in the #xprize carbon removal challenge! 1,133 teams are competing to remove carbon from the atmosphere. We are 1 out of 287 that qualified for the milestone! @xprize #bitcoin #dogecoin Learn more here! https://t.co/MVzYT1MDOk

— Anthony Tatum (@anthonytatum69) April 13, 2022

Two of the teams eligible for the $1 million Milestone Awards are Team Phoenix and Team Bison Underground. Team Phoenix represents Phoenix Pyrolysis. It is developing a modified gasifier to convert biomass to biochar and bioenergy.

Meanwhile, Team Bison Underground aims to increase carbon in agricultural soils by using a novel carbon injection. It argues that modern farming practices have depleted gigatonnes of carbon from agricultural soils. The team believes restoring carbon to soils would create healthier soils and require less synthetic fertilizers.

Team Bison Underground is one of the Student Award winners in the competition. XPrize awarded up to $5 million to student teams in the Fall of 2021.

Only days until the $100M @XPRIZE for Carbon Removal team announces 15 $1M Milestone Award Winners! We’re excited to be one of 1,133 groups registered and to be competing against alongside such tremendous #greentech innovators. #ClimateSolutions https://t.co/7CekqsPybQ pic.twitter.com/fEesuqPCmQ

— BisonUnderground (@Bison_UG) April 12, 2022

The 15 Milestone Award winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2022. According to XPrize, the competition resets entirely after the Milestone winners are announced.

The grand prize of $50 million and $30 million runner-up awards are still up for grabs until Earth Day 2025. Teams must register and submit proof of a working carbon removal project at a scale of at least 1,000 tons per year for a chance to win the $50 million grand prize or $30 million runner-up award.

The Teslarati team would appreciate hearing from you. If you have any tips, reach out to me at maria@teslarati.com or via Twitter @Writer_01001101.

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