Silicate Named as Finalist in the XPRIZE Carbon Removal Competition

Pictured is Maurice Bryson, Founder and Director, Silicate.

Silicate Named as Finalist in the XPRIZE Carbon Removal Competition

- Silicate selected as one of 20 finalists working towards the $50 million grand prize to be awarded in 2025

Silicate, a terrestrial enhanced weathering company headquartered at NovaUCD in Dublin, today announced that it has been named as one of 20 finalists in the XPRIZE Carbon Removal competition.

Silicate is the only company from Ireland among the 20 finalists.

The competition, which is funded by the Musk Foundation, helped catalyse the growth of an entire new industry, galvanizing over 1,300 teams to develop new ideas for carbon dioxide removal (CDR). The 20 finalists, who are now competing for a $50 million grand prize, represent leading CDR solutions with the potential to make meaningful contributions to a diverse, global, sustainable, gigatonne-scale CDR effort.

Silicate’s carbon dioxide removal approach leverages existing agricultural value chains to durably sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide as dissolved bicarbonate by enhancing a natural and permanent carbon removal pathway, weathering. Silicate is the first terrestrial enhanced weathering company globally to focus on carbonate-bearing materials, such as returned concrete and limestone.

Research by the company in Ireland and the U.S. Midwest in collaboration with academics from University College Dublin and Northwestern University, with the support of Breakthrough Energy Fellows, has helped the company to progress on milestones critical to enabling enhanced weathering to become a carbon removal pathway with climate-relevant potential.

“Being selected as a finalist in this prestigious competition is an exciting opportunity for our team to demonstrate the potential of terrestrial enhanced weathering with carbonate-bearing materials to durably sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide,” said Silicate founder and director, Maurice Bryson.

“XPRIZE’s recognition and support of our work is a boon to our mission to leverage agricultural value chains to durably remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while increasing soil productivity through pH amendment.”

Silicate completed the second AgTechUCD Agccelerartor Programme.

Pictured at UCD Rosemount are Silicate team members, Dr Ruadhán Magee, Luke Crehan and Dr Rémi Rateau

The finalists were selected based upon their performance in three key areas: operations, sustainability, and cost. The finalists demonstrated their ability to execute a substantial demonstration that approaches the competition's goal of removing 1,000 net tonnes of CO2 in the final year of the competition, and a viable pathway to reaching megatonne scale in the coming years and eventually gigatonne scale with an understanding of their environmental and social impacts.

"For the world to effectively address greenhouse gas emissions, carbon removal is an essential element of the path to Net Zero. There's no way to reverse humanity's impact on the climate without extracting carbon from our atmosphere and oceans," said Anousheh Ansari, chief executive officer, XPRIZE.

"We need a range of bold, innovative CDR solutions to manage the vast quantities of CO2 released into our environment and impacting our planet. The teams that have been competing for this Prize are all part of building a set of robust and effective solutions and our 20 teams advancing to the final stage of XPRIZE Carbon Removal will have an opportunity to demonstrate their potential to have a significant impact on the climate."

Last year, humans emitted a record 35.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere (Liu et al., 2024). Limiting global warming to 1.5°C - we are currently at ~1.1°C (Lee and Romero, 2023) – will require not just urgent decarbonisation of the global economy, but also permanent removal of 20-660 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by 2100 (Shukla et al., 2022).

The 20 finalist teams are in four removal pathway tracks, Air, Rocks, Oceans, Land, Oceans.

Click here for further information on the other finalists.

The final stage of the competition will take place over the next year, wherein finalist teams are challenged to demonstrate 1,000 net tonnes of CO2 removal and will be judged based on their fully considered cost, operational performance, and against sustainable scalability requirements.


8 May 2024

For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications and Media Relations Manager, UCD Research and Innovation, NovaUCD, e: or Amanda Maguire; e:

Editors Notes

Silicate is a terrestrial enhanced weathering company accelerating a natural geological process – the weathering of minerals – to durably sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide and amend soil pH in farmland. The company mills alkaline materials, applies them to farmland, and measures the carbon removal it enables, facilitating companies to achieve their net zero ambitions, and agribusinesses to reduce and remove greenhouse gas emissions in their value chain, while also helping farmers to increase productivity by optimising soil pH for crop growth. Silicate is part of the Breakthrough Energy Fellows programme, and is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, with operations in Illinois, US.

XPRIZE Carbon Removal is funded by the Musk Foundation and is aimed at tackling the biggest threat facing humanity - fighting climate change and rebalancing Earth’s carbon cycle. This four-year, $100 million global competition invites innovators and teams from anywhere on the planet to create and demonstrate solutions that can pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or oceans and sequester it durably and sustainably.