XPrize’s $20m carbon recycling award aims to cut fossil fuel emissions

The idea of capturing carbon emissions and turning it into something valuable has long intrigued scientists, businesses, politicians and environmentalists alike. But it’s never proven economically viable. Could the XPrize change that?

Given the threat of climate change, what should the world do with its reserves of fossil fuels? Some say keep it in the ground. Others say fossil fuels are needed to in order to provide electricity to the poorest areas of the world.

With the announcement Tuesday of its new $20m Carbon XPrize, the non-profit XPrize Foundation is taking a middle ground – launching a competition to find new uses for carbon dioxide (CO2) , the greenhouse gas emitted by coal and natural gas plants. It’s intended to allow the continued burning of fossil fuels while reducing or eliminating their climate impact.

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