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ISU/Stine/Frontline Collaboration Wins $1 Million XPRIZE for Carbon Removal

On April 22, a collaboration between Iowa State University, Stine Seed Farms, and Frontline BioEnergy was awarded a $1 million milestone prize for carbon removal by the XPRIZE Foundation. This funding will supplement the operations of the Stine pyrolysis demonstration plant to remove over 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent via biochar application as a soil amendment as part of the XPRIZE demonstration.

Autothermal pyrolysis (ATP) is a unique carbon removal method developed and patented by Iowa State University researchers, including Frontline’s own Joseph Polin, Ph.D.  Pyrolysis can be used to convert agricultural and forest waste into usable products. The primary product, biochar, will be used as a soil amendment for farmland. Biochar is also the product which sequesters the most carbon by reintegrating it into the soil.

“This highly competitive award is incredibly validating for our ATP technology,” said Joseph Polin, PhD, a Frontline engineer and pyrolysis researcher. “All three collaborating teams have put in a great amount of effort to scale up and construct the Stine pyrolysis demonstration plant. The XPRIZE award will help us operate the system and measure the carbon removal potential of this technology.”

The pyrolysis project was selected as one of only 15 “Milestone” winners out of 1,133 applications. The XPRIZE program will continue evaluating the Milestone winners, and a grand prize winner will be awarded $50 million in 2025.

To talk to us about developing your own pyrolysis project, fill out the project application form found here.