MUSCAT: The Omani project 44.01, named after the molecular mass of carbon dioxide, is among five winners chosen for the Prince of Wales’s prestigious Earthshot Prize.
Prince William announced the winners on Friday at an awards ceremony in Boston. 44.01 won the award after being shortlisted for the Fix Our Climate category last month.
The annual Earthshot awards were founded by Prince William to fund projects that aim to save the planet. The other winning projects are based in Kenya, India, Australia and the UK. Each winner will receive £1 million to develop their innovation.
The Omani start-up, founded by Talal Hassan, 44.01’s project in Oman will mineralise 1,000 metric tonnes of CO2 each year until 2024, with emissions equal to driving 215 gas-powered cars for a year. It also hopes to expand internationally, and store 1 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2040.
In the process of reducing the amount of planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere, 44.01 sucks CO2 from the atmosphere using direct-air-capture technology, dissolves it into the water, and then pumps the resulting carbonated water into underground seams of peridotite where it’s stored in a process known as mineralisation. Their system is powered by energy derived from heat, solar and biofuels. The annual Earthshot Prize, an independent charity founded by Prince William and the Royal Foundation in 2020, awards $1.2 million each to winners in the five categories. Nominations for the 2023 prize open up on December 5.
Inspired by president John F Kennedy’s “Moonshot” challenge that pioneered space travel in the 1960s, the Earthshot Prize is an ambitious global environmental prize that aims to discover and scale the best solutions to help repair our planet within the remainder of this decade.