Monash Carbon Capture Conversion (MC3)
Monash Carbon Capture and Conversion, also known as MC3, is an international, interdisciplinary student team at Monash University, bringing together Monash students from Clayton and Malaysian campuses. Driven by their passion for environmental sustainability, the MC3 team are at the forefront of innovation as student-led pioneers of technological solutions to climate change.
The MC3 vision encapsulates the successful development of novel, sustainable, scalable and economically viable solutions to capture and store carbon to improve the outlook for the future of the planet.
With a keen focus on developing sustainable solutions for climate change and generating impact on a global scale, MC3 pursued recognition and support through their participation in the XPRIZE Carbon removal challenge set out by XPRIZE and the Musk Foundation. The XPRIZE Carbon removal competition is a four-year global competition focused around creating and demonstrating solutions that can capture and sequester carbon dioxide. Competition guidelines require comprehensive solutions capable of removing and storing 1000 tonnes of CO2 every year for a minimum of 100 years while maintaining net negative CO2 emissions.
MC3’s proposed carbon capture technologies feature dedicated microalgae, forestry and direct air capture solutions, with long-term visions of a fully integrated net-negative carbon capture, utilisation and storage facility. Downstream processing include manufacturing carbon based products from biomass and CO2 streams gathered through carbon capture methods. These products include biochar, high density polyethylene and bamboo-composite cross laminated timber as long term means to successfully sequester CO2.
Founded in 2021, MC3 has grown exponentially to now feature a team of over 50 members. The MC3 vision unites a team of determined and passionate individuals, whose hard work and resilience has afforded the team numerous incredible achievements. They are recognised globally as one of eighteen teams to receive the $250,000 USD Student Award from XPRIZE for the Carbon Dioxide Removal technology. Future phases of the competition afforded the opportunity to present MC3’s work on a global industry stage, where the BioTechnology & Direct Air Capture/Polymer Synthesis teams are placed in the top 20% against 1,133 submissions.
Established at the height of COVID-19 restrictions, MC3 have moved from operating remotely throughout multiple lockdowns, to establishing a strong physical presence at Monash University. Working out of their own office within the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering as well as the state of the art facilities offered at Monash including the ChemBio Makerspace, the faculty Monash Makerspace and the Design and Build Studios. Returning to campus has facilitated on-site experimentation, development of microalgae rigs, forestry setups and analysis of biochar samples.
On campus activation has also opened up opportunities for in person team bonding activities including full team meetings and an amazing off site visit to the CO2CRC facility. Providing team members with the chance to expand their knowledge around the practical applications of carbon sequestration technologies and testing while fostering a productive, positive and close-knit team environment.