Elon Musk is giving $100 million for the best carbon capture technology. Though Musk did not give details of his plans, sources familiar with the matter said that Musk’s donation will be made to the Xprize Foundation, a non-profit organization that anchors competitions associated with brilliant technological advancements and inventions.
The Twitter post by which Musk made the announcement has generated over 500,000 likes and the billionaire will be providing more information about his plans at a later date.
Carbon Capture technology, as the name suggests, covers any innovations that seek to capture the toxic carbon dioxide from production plants and other sources, before it escapes into the atmosphere. The captured waste is then stored, sequestered, or used for other purposes. The aim of carbon capture technology is to stop the harmful effect of carbon dioxide on the atmosphere.
It is not a new endeavor as many companies have been working on carbon capture and storage or sequestration (CCS) for over twenty years and researchers have suggested different methods with different levels of success rates. CCS would probably have evolved more if not for the huge amount of money it takes to come up with a brilliant plan to stop the toxic substance from wreaking more damage to the climate, Yahoo reports.
One of the companies involved in CCS, LanzaTech, works on a method that not only captures the waste but also uses bacteria to convert it into ethanol fuel that can be used in different industries. The main part of the company’s invention is a bacteria whose main nutrition is feeding off unclean gas emissions. After ingesting the emissions, the bacteria process the waste and ethanol.
The company makes the ethanol into other products and is also working towards expanding the number of ethanol-based products it produces. It wishes to add some polyethylene and PEP by-products including bottle and clothing materials. Carbon Engineering and Climeworks are other companies that are also working on CCS technology.
Climeworks is a Switzerland start-up business that is working on direct air capture technology. The technology utilizes special filters to pull the toxic waste from the air. The company then stores the emissions or sells them to interested buyers. The pulled waste is used as fertilizer in farms and also used in producing fizzy drinks.
The other company, Carbon Engineering, is a company in Canada. Its technology is to subtract carbon dioxide from the air; the emissions are then processed and used for enhanced oil recovery and other things.