Team Of Current, Former OU Students Win $250,000 In Elon Musk Sponsored Carbon Removal Competition

A team of current and former University of Oklahoma Students has won a $250,000 prize in a global green competition.

Friday, November 12th 2021, 8:56 am

By: News On 6


A team of current and former University of Oklahoma Students has won a $250,000 prize in a global green competition.

The award program was funded by Tesla founder Elon Musk with the goal of funding early-stage carbon removal concepts.

The team, called the Bison Underground, developed a blueprint for an invention that would use carbon from the sky and redistribute those nutrients into farmland.

The team includes:

  1. Steve Adams, team founder, OU Ph.D. student, geology, from Evansville, Ind.
  2. Alicia Bonar, OU Ph.D. student, geology, from Wheeling, W.Va.
  3. Cansu Floyd, OU Ph.D. student, geology, from Instanbul, Turkey
  4. Lily Pfeifer, OU Ph.D. alumna, geology ’20 and current post doc, from North Granby, Conn.
  5. Nina Webb, OU alumna, B.S. geology ‘19 and M.S. geology ’20, from Norman, Okla.
  6. Andrew Oordt, OU alumus, M.S. geology ’18, from San Antonio, Texas
  7. James Floyd, OU Ph.D. student, microbiology, from Warner Robins, Ga.
  8. J.D. Epperson, OU undergraduate student, environmental engineering, from Yukon, Okla.
  9. Zara Ahmed, Ph.D., Bison Underground team member, Waterville, Maine
  10. Alex Sodemann, Bison Underground team member, from Toledo, Ohio
  11. Akiva Gopalkrishnan, Bison Underground team member, from Mumbai, India

The grant will enable the team to design, build and test its prototype in Oklahoma for the next year in preparation for the main $100 million XPRIZE Carbon Removal competition.

XPRIZE is a four-year global competition that invites teams to create and demonstrate solutions that can pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or oceans. 


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