XPRIZE Carbon Removal


Creative Ideas Tech & IT

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  • Online


XPRIZE Carbon Removal is aimed at tackling the biggest threat facing humanity - fighting climate change and rebalancing Earth’s carbon cycle. Funded by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation, this $100M competition is the largest incentive prize in history, an extraordinary milestone.‎


Truly Meaningful Impact

The climate math is becoming clear that we will need gigaton-scale carbon removal in the coming decades to avoid the worst effects of climate change. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates the need at approximately 10 gigatonnes of net CO2 removal per year by the year 2050 in order to keep global temperature rise under 1.5 or 2C. As governments, companies, investors, and entrepreneurs make plans to meet this challenge, it is clear that we will need a range of carbon removal solutions to be proven through demonstration and deployment to complement work that is already underway. If humanity continues on a business-as-usual path, the global average temperature could increase 6˚(C) by the year 2100. 

This four-year global competition invites innovators and teams from anywhere on the planet to create and demonstrate solutions that can pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or oceans, and sequester it durably and sustainably. To win the grand prize, teams must demonstrate a working solution at a scale of at least 1000 tonnes removed per year; model their costs at a scale of 1 million tonnes per year; and show a pathway to achieving a scale of gigatonnes per year in future.

Any carbon negative solution is eligible: nature-based, direct air capture, oceans, mineralization, or anything else that achieves net negative emissions, sequesters CO2 durably, and show a sustainable path to achieving low cost at gigatonne scale.

Thank you to our early innovators, and sponsors, who knew Carbon Removal would become an XPRIZE: Chuck Brady, Jeff Holden, Tylee Potter, Paresh Ghelani, Eric Hirshberg, Dave Asprey, Thomas Ermacora, Ryan Duffy, and Thomas Middleditch.

How to Register

Team registration opens with the announcement of the full competition guidelines on Earth Day, April 22nd 2021. The competition will last for 4 years through Earth Day 2025.

XPRIZE teams come from all around the world. Teams can be composed of university groups, high school students, startups and innovators, small to midsize companies, community-based organizations, families or individuals. Registering to create or join a team is one of the first steps you can take to help create a better future for all.

How to Win

To win the prize teams must demonstrate CO2 removal at the 1000 tonne per year scale, model costs at the million ton per year (megatonne) scale, and present a plan to sustainably reach gigatonne per year scale in future. In the first phase of the competition, teams must demonstrate the key component of their carbon removal solution, at a minimum.

Teams can submit entries across natural, engineered and hybrid solutions. 



Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:


XPRIZE believes that solutions can come from anyone, anywhere: Scientists, engineers, academics, entrepreneurs, and other innovators from all over the world are invited to form a team and register to compete. To participate, a team is required to first create an account in the Prize Operations Platform (POP) and pay a registration fee of $250. POP is an online platform through which teams will register for the competition, pay the registration fee, and submit important documents throughout the competition. Teams are expected to maintain their POP profiles throughout the competition, ensuring their profile is up to date with the most recent team information. A Team may recruit and add additional team members at any time throughout the Competition.


Deadline: October 01, 2021

Cost/funding for participants:

Prize Purse

The $100M prize purse will be distributed as follows:

After 1 year of competition the judges will review all submissions received by that time and award up to 15 Milestone Prizes of $1 million each. At the discretion of the judges, these awards may be granted on a conditional basis, subject to the team’s demonstrated commitment to continuing to develop and advance their solutions and to compete for the Grand Prize.

After 4 years, judges will select the winners:

  • $50 million paid to the single Grand Prize Winner

  • $30 million to be distributed among up to 3 runners up

XPRIZE will also award up to US$5M to student teams in the Fall of 2021. These awards may fund participation in the XPRIZE Carbon Removal or the development of key supportive technologies.

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