Podcast Follows Dimensional Energy’s Carbon XPRIZE Journey

Members of the Dimensional Energy team stand in front of their trailer at a test site in Wyoming.

Podcast Follows Dimensional Energy’s Carbon XPRIZE Journey

For decades, Gillette, Wyoming has called itself the “Energy Capital” of the United States—providing nearly 35% of the nation’s coal, as well as being a significant producer of oil and gas—but climate change and a shift away from fossil fuels is impacting the industry and the “Carbon Valley” region.

In an effort to revive the coal industry, Wyoming is hosting the Carbon XPRIZE, an international competition that challenges startups to develop a solution to convert carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere into useful products with the highest value—determined by the amount of carbon dioxide converted and the net value of these products. Dimensional Energy, an Ithaca-based startup and Rev member company, is one of two finalists in the running for the $20 million grand prize.

Wyoming Public Media, an NPR member station, is covering the Carbon XPRIZE and the efforts of its finalists in its engaging Carbon Valley podcast series. Jason Salfi, CEO and co-founder of Dimensional Energy, shines in the first episodes of the podcast as the finalists explore carbon capture and conversion in Wyoming. In the podcast, Salfi compares the competition to CBS’ Survivor, because no matter the level of preparation, the competitors are unable fathom the challenges ahead.

Dimensional Energy has evidently done well in overcoming these challenges, proceeding to the final round of the competition. Using technology licensed by Cornell University, Dimensional Energy has developed a solution capable of capturing carbon dioxide and then harnessing the power of sunlight to convert it into useful products like liquid fuel for air or surface transportation. The startup transported its pilot reactor to Gillette, Wyoming, last fall for a long stretch of scaled-up testing. During this time, the team successfully demonstrated their technology with a 10-ton per year scale proof-of-concept solar fuels reactor that can turn carbon dioxide into a carbon-neutral fuel.

Listen to Carbon Valley podcast to keep tabs on Dimensional Energy’s progress in the Carbon XPRIZE. The winner of the competition will be announced this summer.