Launched in 2015, the Carbon XPRIZE is a global competition and challenge to develop breakthrough technologies that convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into valuable products. Pond Technologies, headquartered in Markham, has made it to the second round of competition by proposing to convert carbon dioxide waste emitted from district energy systems into biofuels.

The Pond Technologies team was formed in 2016 to develop new approaches to control emissions and produce new alternatives to fossil fuels at industrial facilities, including district energy plants. Pond Technologies has developed technology that uses algae and the natural process of photosynthesis to transform carbon dioxide emissions into biofuels. The team also includes representatives from the National Research Council of Canada, Markham District Energy, and the City of Markham.

The Carbon XPRIZE competition seeks to tackle global CO2 emissions by incentivizing innovative solutions to convert CO2 from a liability into an asset. Semi-finalist teams hail from Canada, China, India, Switzerland, Scotland and the United States, and among the teams competing are leading carbon capture technology companies, top-tier academic institutions, non-profits and new startups. The advancing teams propose converting CO2 into products that range from concrete, biofuels, toothpaste, fish food and fertilizer.

The Pond Technologies team has advanced to round two of the competition and will be required to demonstrate the capture of carbon dioxide emissions and its transformation into biofuels. Over a ten-month period, Pond Technologies and other competing teams must meet minimum requirements and will be scored based on how much CO2 they convert and the net value of their products. Following round two, up to five teams in each track that score the highest net value will share a $2.5 million milestone purse and move onto the finals of the competition. These finalists will have the opportunity to demonstrate their technology at real-world power plants.

A formal media event and announcement will take place late November at Pond’s headquarters in Markham. If members of the media would like to tour Pond’s demonstration plant in St Marys, Ontario, a tour can be arranged for Nov. 3, 2016. Please contact Peter Howard at [email protected] for more details.


“Pond is excited to be participating in the semi-finals of the X-Prize with such an excellent team. We welcome this opportunity to demonstrate a commercially viable solution to the challenge of industrial greenhouse gas emissions in Canada and around the world.” said Steve Martin, CEO, Pond Technologies.

“I am proud to have initiated the partnership with the Pond Technologies team and Markham District Energy on an innovative and breakthrough solution to tackle carbon dioxide emissions,” said Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “This initiative aligns with Markham’s comprehensive strategy to make our municipality one of the most sustainable communities in North America. It's great to have Pond located here in Markham, and that it’s a company born out of VentureLab, Markham's innovation centre”

“Introducing alternative fuels to replace carbon based fuels is a mainstream activity for district energy systems around the world. Developing a technology to directly transform carbon to useful biofuels could be a game changer and we are thrilled to be part of the Pond Team and the XPrize competition,” said Bruce Ander, President & CEO, Markham District Energy. 

– 30 –

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti: [email protected] or 905-475-4872

Markham media inquiries / interview requests: Dennis Flaherty, 905-415-7520 or [email protected]

Pond Techologies media inquiries / interview requests: Peter Howard, 647-880-8913 or [email protected]

About Markham: Markham, a municipality with 350,000 residents centrally located in the Greater Toronto area, is home to over 400 corporate head offices and more than 1,100 high tech and life science companies. Founded in the 1790s, today Markham is Canada’s most diverse community, enjoys a rich heritage, outstanding community planning and services, and a vibrant local economy. Markham has received the Excellence Canada Gold Award for Organizational Quality & Healthy Workplace, and multiple heritage and environmental awards.

About Pond Technologies: Pond Technologies Inc. was founded in Toronto, Canada on May 2007. Our mission is to use microalgae, the original superfood and the planet’s first carbon storage technology, to solve some of the largest problems facing the world today.

About Markham District Energy: Markham District Energy is an award-winning district energy utility serving customers in growing urban centres in the City of Markham. In 2013, MDE was awarded the International System of the year from the International District Energy Association recognizing a system which demonstrates exemplar y efficiency, outstanding performance in reliability, safety and environmental leadership, and overall commitment to customer service excellence and industry engagement.

About the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE
Few challenges are greater and more critical than ensuring access to clean, affordable and abundant energy. As the global energy supply remains primarily derived from fossil fuels – the leading contributor to climate change – the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE will challenge the world to reimagine what we can do with CO2 emissions by incentivizing and accelerating the development of technologies that convert CO2 from a liability into valuable products. For more information, visit:


ventureLAB is where talented entrepreneurs bring their innovations to market and is a partner in StartUp HERE Toronto.