Muscat: Talal Hasan did the Sultanate of Oman proud when his project 44.01 on conversion of carbon dioxide into rock, was among the five winners in the world chosen for the Prince of Wales’ coveted Earthshot Prize.
The annual awards were created by Prince William to fund projects that aim to save the planet. Each winner will receive US $1.2mn to develop his innovation.
Prince William announced the winners on Friday at an award ceremony in Boston in the US.
"I believe that the Earthshot solutions you have seen this evening prove we can overcome our planet's greatest challenges," Prince William said during the ceremony.
By supporting and scaling them we can change our future," he said.
The winning projects are from Kenya, India, Australia, the UK and Oman.
Talal Hasan's project 44.01 won in Fix Our Climate category.
The project promises to eliminate carbon dioxide by mineralising it in peridotite, a rock that is found in abundance both in Oman and globally, including the US, Europe and Asia. It offers a low-cost and safe alternative to traditional methods of storing carbon, which include burying it underground in disused oil wells.
44.01 has previously received recognition and support from, among others, the Musk Foundation via XPRIZE, Shopify and Stripe.
The prize’s other categories are protect and restore nature, clean our air, revive our oceans, and build a waste-free world.
Talal Hasan, 44.01’s founder and CEO, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised by the Earthshot Prize. Mineralisation can offer a safe, cost-effective way of eliminating CO2 forever.”
He added: “Winning the Earthshot Prize was a proud moment for his team. We started 44.01 two years ago because we saw the very real impact of climate change here in Oman.
"The Earthshot Prize will help us scale our solution around the world, and ultimately eliminate billions of tonnes of CO2. Climate change is the greatest challenge we have ever faced but being part of this amazing group of finalists gives us hope."
44.01 has already conducted successful pilots of its mineralisation process in the Sultanate of Oman.
In 2023, 44.01 will begin mineralising CO2 commercially. The company has ambitious aims to mineralise one billion tonnes of CO2 by 2040. As the world transitions to clean forms of energy, 44.01 is also providing new employment opportunities for engineers and geologists working in the fossil fuel industry.
Given that Oman has one of the largest surficial deposits of peridotite in the world, carbon mineralisation could also be a boon for workers in the region and for energy transition.
By seeking to solve global problems, 44.01 is solving local ones too.
The Earthshot Prize aims to turn the current pessimism surrounding environmental issues into optimism, by championing inspiring leadership and helping to scale incredible cutting-edge solutions. More than a prize, it works in partnership with a Global Alliance of Partners to support the scaling of the solutions discovered and selected each year.