Nov 07 2019

XPRIZE is excited to welcome Brooklyn based team, Air Co., into the finals of the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE. Air Co. has invented a proprietary technology that uses solar power to capture excess carbon from the air and transform it into the highest quality, purest alcohol on the planet. Air Vodka, the firm’s first product will soon be appearing in bars and restaurants around New York City allows consumers to make actionable steps to a cleaner future with each bottle of vodka equal to the daily CO2 intake of eight trees. 

Dr. Stafford Sheehan initially competed in the Semi-Finals of the Carbon XPRIZE as Team Catalyst. In 2017, Dr. Sheehan teamed up with Gregory Constantine after they met as featured members on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. Rebranded under the name Air Co., the duo opened a distillery in Brooklyn in early 2019, and will supplement their operations with a scaled up demonstration plant currently being built in Ontario, Canada that was partially funded by the Ontario Centers of Excellence. The team is due to arrive in Calgary in early 2020 for their six month Carbon XPRIZE demonstration.

The Carbon XPRIZE is in the final round of competition, in which finalist teams are challenged to scale-up up their carbon conversion technologies under real world conditions at industrial test centers to compete for one of two grand prizes. Five teams will demonstrate their technologies at the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre in Calgary, and five will exhibit at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center in Gillette. Finalists are moving into these test centers and will be demonstrating their technologies through June 2020. 

Air Co. will be joining fellow finalists C2CNT, CarbonCure, CERT, and the newly formed Carbon Upcycling Technologies/Newlight team on the Calgary track of the competition, demonstrating at the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre. Air Co. was invited by the Carbon XPRIZE panel of expert judges to re-enter the competition after a vacancy was created when Carbon Upcycling Technologies, a finalist from Calgary, combined with fellow finalist Newlight from Huntington Beach, California. Carbon Upcycling Technologies/Newlight are combining their unique capabilities in CO2-based nanoparticles and polymers in the Finals of the Carbon XPRIZE.