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Biochar Teams Sweep 4 of 15 XPRIZE $1 Million Climate Innovation Awards

“It [Biochar] is being newly embraced as a true carbon removal solution at scale.”--Microsoft

It [Biochar] is being newly embraced as a true carbon removal solution at scale.”
— Elizabeth Willmott, Carbon Program Manager at Microsoft
PORTLAND, OREGON, USA, May 17, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Contact: George Kim Chaffee
US Biochar Initiative
kim.chaffee@biochar-us.org
804-405-1774 cell

Biochar Teams Sweep 4 of 15 XPRIZE $1 Million Climate Innovation Awards
“It [Biochar] is being newly embraced as a true carbon removal solution at scale.”--Microsoft

On Earth Day 2022, XPRIZE and the Musk Foundation announced the 15 milestone winners of $1,000,000 each to continue their work on atmospheric carbon dioxide removal (CDR).  Four (27%) of the 15 winning teams are using biochar as their primary CDR method.

According to the XPRIZE’s April 22 news release, the XPRIZE “is the largest incentive prize in history and the XPRIZE Carbon Removal teams represent the largest collection of innovators working on carbon removal…the submission process was extremely demanding by design, with a field of 1,133 teams narrowed to 287 teams meeting the eligibility criteria for the milestone awards.”   The field was narrowed to 60 and then ultimately to 15 teams earning the Interim $1M Milestone Awards. 

The US Biochar Initiative’s (USBI’s) Executive Director Tom Miles notes, “These awards further highlight the significant attention and financial investments biochar is getting in recent years. The benefits are clear and the markets, as well as the XPRIZE, are following the investment case for biochar. Furthermore, the XPRIZE’s choice of four biochar climate projects affirms the conclusions of the IPCC that biochar is one of the most scalable and cost-effective ways to remove atmospheric carbon.” 

USBI's primary role is promoting the sustainable production and use of biochar through research, policy, technology, public awareness, and education. 

North American universities lead the way with three of the four biochar teams, including the University of Iowa (the Bioeconomy Institute for Carbon Removal), Pennsylvania State University (Plant Village), the University of British Columbia and MIT (Takachar).  Netzero, a French team, is the fourth team.  Links to all of the winning teams’ websites can be found in the XPRIZE’s news release.    

Biochar, a family of porous charcoals, slows global warming when used for soil amendment to improve crop yield, as animal feed, for water and air filtration, odor control, green infrastructure, turf, trees, landscaping, building materials, and in asphalt and concrete.


According to the Marginal Carbon database, since 2020, 10 corporations, including Microsoft, plus the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation have purchased carbon credits for 39 biochar climate projects, through the Puro.earth and Carbonfuture.earth carbon removal markets.  Microsoft, in its 2022 report entitled:  “Microsoft Carbon Removal:  An Update with Lessons Learned in Our Second Year”, wrote, “It [Biochar] is being newly embraced as a true carbon removal solution at scale.” 

The North American Biochar and Bioenergy Conference, Biochar2022.com, will be held in West Virginia in August. USBI expects a packed show with all the recent attention to biochar, carbon markets, and climate solutions.


USBI, a 12-year-old 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, promotes the sustainable production and use of biochar in North America through research, policy, and technology.  Information at www.biochar-us.org  

George Kim Chaffee
US Biochar Initiative
+1 804-405-1774
kim.chaffee@biochar-us.org
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