The Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchase Pilot Prize (CDR Purchase Pilot Prize) offers up to $35 million in cash awards to teams that provide impactful CDR concept proposals, develop and refine these plans, and ultimately deliver their specified CDR credits.
Building the Foundation for Just, Sustainable, and Scalable Carbon Management
The CDR Purchase Pilot Prize marks the first initiative by the U.S. Federal Government to directly purchase CDR from domestic providers. Through this prize, the Department of Energy will establish precedent for the level of rigor required to successfully evaluate CDR technologies and demonstrate how CDR purchase contracts can catalyze innovation while strengthening America’s CDR objectives.
The CDR Purchase Pilot Prize is one of two tracks in the $100 million Commercial DAC Prize and part of a suite of interconnected competitions in the American-Made DAC Prize program, which advances DAC and CDR technologies and markets, as well as the incubators that support DAC entrepreneurs. The Commercial DAC Prize builds on the progress made through the DAC Pre-Commercial Prizes (launched in March 2023), as well as historic and ongoing DOE investments in applied DAC and CDR research and development.
CDR solutions are critical for meeting climate goals, and the CDR Purchase Pilot Prize aims to innovate how governments can structure offtake agreements with CDR project developers in a robust, transparent, and competitive manner. In addition, the prize supports the development of a CDR purchasing market, encouraging technological innovation and accelerated growth of the industry.
The prize is open to four CDR technology pathways (see the Official Rules document for definitions for each of these pathways) :
Direct Air Capture
Biomass (BiCRS) technologies
Enhanced geological weathering and enhanced mineralization technologies
Planned and managed carbon sinks
Who Can Compete:
Eligible competitors must offer CDR that is removed and sequestered within the U.S., including Tribal Nations, and U.S. Territories, or associated federal or state waters. Competitors or teams who meet eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply to the initial phase of the prize (see the Official Rules for eligibility criteria). Diverse, multidisciplinary teams are strongly encouraged; competitors interested in collaborating can connect on HeroX on the “Teams” page.
Teams will win increasingly larger awards as they make progress over the course of three phases. Each phase requires compounding progress in the CDR purchase agreement and delivery process.
Phase 1 requirements:
Design a CDR Credit Concept Proposal, outlining key contract terms and other key information.
Phase 2 requirements
Only winners of the Phase 1 are eligible to compete in Phase 2
Refine, advance, and structure their CDR offtake agreement plan
Draft and submit a binding offer to DOE for the purchase of CDR within the Purchase Pilot Prize Timeline.
Phase 3 requirements
Only winners of Phase 2 are eligible to compete in Phase 3
Deliver the verified CDR committed to DOE on the scheduled timeline and criteria established within the contract structure and agreed-upon requirements.
Please review the official rulesfor the complete application process and instructions for competing.
Note: As of September 29, 2023, the Official Rules document contains the rules for Phase 1 of the CDR Purchase Pilot Prize. It also includes draft rules for Phases 2 and 3 of the CDR Pilot Purchase Prize. The draft rules for Phases 2 and 3 are not binding and are open to public comment through 10/31/23 (comments can be sent to ).
The official rules for Phase 1 of the Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) Purchase Pilot Prize have been modified. All modifications are highlighted in yellow in the document and can be referenced by individual page number included below.
Pages 13: Information about the Foreign Entity Participation Waiver added to the eligibility section
Page 75: Addition of Appendix 13: Waiver for Foreign Entity Participation
The official rules for Phase 1 of the Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) Purchase Pilot Prize have been modified, including clarifications about the number of images, graphs, and figures allowed in Phase 1 submissions, as well as clarification about the LCA/TEA requirements in Phase Modifications. All modifications are highlighted in yellow in the document and can be referenced by individual page number included below.
Pages 26/27: Number of images, graphs, and figures allowed in Phase 1 submissions
Page 27: Clarification about the LCA/TEA requirements
Due to the amount of interest in the Commercial Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchase Pilot Prize, the deadline for Phase 1 submissions has been extended to December 14, 2023 at 5pm ET!
In order to compete for up to $35 million in cash awards and purchase agreements, all required materials must be submitted by the deadline to ensure your submission is reviewed. We encourage submitting your materials as early as possible (you can edit submissions up to the deadline) to avoid any last-minute issues.
Below are some important resources to help you get started with your submission:
A recording of the recent Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) Purchase Pilot Prize informational webinar, covering eligibility, deadlines, and more for Phase 1, is available now. If you missed this valuable session, stream it now to catch up on any prize details you may have missed. The webinar slide deck is also available.
The deadline to submit your entry to the CDR Purchase Pilot Prize is December 14. Competitors who can provide impactful CDR concept proposals, develop and refine these plans, and ultimately deliver their specified CDR credits should start prepping their submissions now for a chance at a share of the $35 million in cash prizes.
All the below submission materials must be uploaded to the CDR Purchase Pilot Prize HeroX page before the contest closing date:
Cover page content
Concept proposal (maximum of 12 pages, excluding cover page)
Letters of commitment or support (optional)
Still have questions? Email , and we will be happy to help. You can also use the public HeroX Forum to ask questions and spark discussions with HeroX community members. All questions from this webinar will be answered on the Forum, as well.