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XPRIZE Carbon Removal Challenge

UPDATE: Global Algae is a XPRIZE Carbon Removal Milestone Winner


Global Algae Innovations was founded with the vision to make an order-of-magnitude improvement in global food and vegetable oil production efficiency on the most expedient timeline possible, dramatically improving the environment, economy, and quality of life for all people. This project will utilize algae farms to capture CO2 directly from the air. It will sequester CO2 in two ways: (1) produce consumer plastics from the algae oil and (2) address the massive economic forces that drive deforestation, i.e. protein and palm oil production. Global Algae's current productivity rates for simultaneous production of protein and vegetable oil are 23 times greater than soya and 9 times greater than palm oil, respectively. This unparalleled productivity will enable restoration of 30 acres of rainforest for every acre of algae installed. The process is economical and scalable for worldwide implementation. Communities can improve their standard of living while restoring their forests and fighting climate change.

Our Project:

We will build a 160-acre algae farm in Shandon, CA. 7,500 tons of CO2 per year will be directly captured from the air into the cultivation raceways where it will be fixed by algae via photosynthesis. The algae will be harvested from the raceways using our novel Zobi harvester. The harvested algae will be separated into oil and protein fractions (the algae biomass is 45% oil and 35% protein). The oil will be separated into fractions for feed/food, jet fuel, and polymer production. The conversion to polymer products will take place off-site. 2,300 tons of CO2 per year will be sequestered in the polymer products for hundreds of years. The remaining 5,200 tons of CO2 captured is not sequestered as it will be released on use of the coproduct fuel, food, and feed. These coproducts greatly lower the greenhouse gas emissions for the respective products. In addition to the GHG emissions reduction, the coproducts are important at the megaton scale because the sales enable profitable operation including purchase of land for rainforest regrowth without any subsidies or carbon credits; and because the protein production is high enough to address the main driver of deforestation in the Amazon.


Gross removal is 7500 tons per year captured from the air. Approximately 30% is durably sequestered as a polymer product, and the other 70% is released on use of the coproduct fuel, food, and feed. These coproducts will reduce GHG emissions by 60% for food and feed and 90% for fuel. Thus, the project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4000 tons of CO2 per year in addition to durably sequestering about 2300 tons of CO2 per year.

The project requires about 200-acres of land (160 for the algae cultivation raceways). The co-product feed and food produced during the project would normally require about 4000 acres. Thus the project will reduce land use for fuel, feed and food by 96% or 3800 acres in addition to sequestering about 2300 tons of CO2 per year.


Status updates:

1. We are breaking ground this year on the 160 acre farm in Shandon

2. We are so excited to announce that we are qualified team for the XPRIZE challenge

3. We are actively raising funds for the rest of the scale-up. Please give here:


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