Virgin Earth Challenge

Branson and Gore have created the “Virgin Earth Challenge” based on the X-Prize worth $25 million to create a way to solve the greenhouse gas problem.

Flanked by climate campaigners former US Vice President Al Gore and British ex-diplomat Crispin Tickell, Branson said he hoped the prize would spur innovative and creative thought to save mankind from self-destruction.

The prize will initially only be open for five years, with ideas assesbransongore_wideweb__470×3400.jpgsed by a panel of judges including Branson, Gore and Tickell as well as US climate scientist James Hansen, Briton James Lovelock and Australian environmentalist Tim Flannery.

The winner will have to come up with a way of removing one billion tonnes of carbon gases a year from the atmosphere for 10 years, with $5 million of the prize being paid at the start and the remaining $20 million at the end.

The Ansari X-Prize showed what is possible. It enabled Virgin SpaceShip One and space travel for everybody (atleast those who could afford!). This will hopefully create something similar.

The prize denotes the best things about business. The drive, the incentives, the entrepreneurship, the targets, innovation and the ability to solve the greatest problems facing man.

Branson sometime back announced that he would invest almost $3 billion of his profits from the transportation business into companies like Virgin Fuels which can solve the earth’s problems and make money too.

BBC provides a graphic to show the present options in carbon capture.

Carbon capture options

1. CO2 pumped into disused coal fields displaces methane which can be used as fuel
2. CO2 can be pumped into and stored safely in saline aquifers
3. CO2 pumped into oil fields helps maintain pressure, making extraction easier


43 thoughts on “Virgin Earth Challenge

  1. I believe that if we created this problem by motorvehicles then we should be able to solve the problem using motervehicles. When people come to the gas station to fill up mabe we can require people by law to take on board a gas of some kind that can be distributed into the atmosphere while they are driving around in their vehicles. Some form of nontoxic gas that can be distributed during the daylight hours that can take pollutants out of the atmosphere and also block the sunlight.

    Jim Daley
    Taipei City

  2. Hello i have a patent design for a free energy wheel.I have filled out that form for that big prize and dropped in my email to send but no email adress is showing.I have been searching for a listener since october,I only entered this draw because there is no real listeners for my so basic design,,,,Can you email that email address to help me,,,,To confirm i am truthfull if you want send an email to confirm, ,And you know my email i will give you my password, There is about 450 emails i have sent to around the world.ask cambridge to GM they have other copies,, ,,,,Very sorry for this draw back reading this,I live rural Yeppoon QLD Australia Ph 61 7 49397919 and if you received my plans can you email them back to make shore they are correct

  3. Suggestions
    To make all the industries and the sources responsible for such harmful gases, to make provision/s in such a fashion that the harmful gases are diverted through a certain pipe connection to a safe outlet.
    To make a satellite with a sensor similar to that of a radar, which can detect the area from where the harmful gases emerge the most out of the Earth’s orbit.
    To make the satellite attract the harmful gases towards the outer space without disturbing the ozone layer, maybe through a safe outlet.
    Now, you must be perturbed with the term safe outlet. We shall now try to check what is this in particular.
    The term safe outlet is used so as to denote a particular route or way in which the harmful gases are re-routed through and made to swim across to a certain predetermined destination, where they can be combined with other natural gases, which can nullify the ill-effects of the harmful gases. The combined gas can then be safely disposed, without harming the ozone layer.
    This can be achieved by routing the harmful gases through several pipelines, which collectively culminate to an common end point. This end point can be connected to a relatively safe launcher from where the harmful gases can be despatched with or without nullification of their harm. It is better to nullify the potential hazards of the harmful gases, before they are released.
    The launchers can be any or all of the following :
    1. Ocean Bed: The might of the oceanic currents might suppress the gas making it twiddle through the desired path.
    2. Snow Glacier: Wherein all the harm causing bacterias are soaked up.
    3. Active Volcano: Harmful Gas mixed with hot lava, thereby reducing its potential hazards to a minimum and flow naturally along with the outburst of the volcano.
    4. Rocky Mountain: The power of the harmful gases used to degenerate unwanted rocks and boulders.
    5. Snow Capped Altitude: Again dispersing the harmful gases within the surface layer of the Earth, thereby reducing it’s alarmingly rising level.
    Any other source which can hold the gases, process them to nullification, and release them in the desired direction.
    As we have seen in the kitchens of our homes, the smoke and gas arising out from the cooking process is re-routed upwards towards the chimney above the cooking area so that the gases travel all the way up and finally out of the house, into the thin air.
    In a similar fashion, if the harmful gases are made to travel all the way to a certain collector of sorts, from where they can be sent though a big chimney from the top most pole position of the Earth into the outer space through the ozone layer, and safely into the outer space without disturbing the elements of Mother Earth.
    For this a very long and big chimney has to be made from the topmost pole position of the Earth in order to facilitate the movement of the harmful gases into the outer space.

  4. sir, i want to participate from making Green Earth. kindly send me terms & conditions, also send me the proper way to fulfill all the requrements.

    i have a creative idea to make green earth.

    thanking you

    your’s Faithfully
    Raghuraj Singh Hada
    +91 98935 77399

  5. Hello again i did enter the earth challenge with a rough note of a free energy wheel.The thing i am discribing is the clean air filter device needed.Materials needed are fabric (car air bags,etc).Some self/solar propelled fans blowing wind in to coned fabric,untill underground washings are needed.Or the fabric expanded using hot air balloons(weather to allow for) .Put monster fans on mountain edges or so.Wash the filters once stained,Keep all smog/chemicals underground.There would not ever be a chemical to solve this problem,only a filter to clean it..Allot of washing/cleaning filters for cleaner air..

  6. Hello,
    Please send me the contests terms and conditions please. I will like to participate with an idea I have if I qualify.

  7. 2010 is a ridiculous time frame . It will be too late then .The ozone will be in our breathable oxygen level by then Mr. Branson. Those 3 oxygen molecules will kill us by 2010.If he really wants to do something about it then give us a damn website address for the contest.I have the answer but we must start now , as a global community not as one country.Manmade polution is a very small part of the cause.This is why I believe it’s all bunk .These guys who have ,already sunk their money into anything and everything that could remotely even make a damn difference in the hopes of making money.You people know who you are .Your greed for the green and not a true heart digging into the problem is going to kill us all.Money is no good when your dead(and all of us will be)A sampling of what I can bring to the table is this the poles slowly moving towards europe is the cause of all the ozone.As it brings glaciers into warm water they melt(obviously)But what most people don’t know is that water under an electomagnetic field produces massive quantities of ozone.Yes folks the lifeblood of all life can also take it away.The glaciers melt adding much more water to the earths surface sky rocketing ozone production.This is what is behind the ozone accumulation at a rate we have not even seen yet at it’s peak.We have an electromagnetic field above our planet.Our hard inner earth core spinning through a 1000’s of miles of magma also produces a field emmitting out our longitudal ,latitude lines and equator goin up and through every creek, lake,river, ocean and sea . The freezing of the poles in the begining was neccessary for life to exist here(their was to much ozone)Now the poles are on the move and bringing melting glaciers with them,If the poles could be stopped in there tracks now and stopped from pushing glaciers into warm water we will have a chance to survive.Why are the poles moving and where are they going .I know why they are moving, where they are going and how to stop them in ther e tracks . Yes as big of a job as that is ,it can be done.I have e-mailed bush, pelosi,boxer, my gov and 2 state reps also bill o’rielly ,josh bernstein and sir branson with no response yet.I guess I’ll just die with the rest of and my secret too

  8. Einstein (remember him?) once said: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” I hope there are crative enough people out there that are capable of such thinking. Otherwise, we might have left it too late indeed…

  9. John Keefe
    Ph 61 7 49397919
    Hello once again.I have read the virgin earth challenge after i entered.I do not know if they understood my basic free energy device.All gravity fed, frictionless controlled using magnets,I will try sending a diagram to virgin earth challenge.I only have a diagram for a single free energy wheel ,not a co-joined.All so i said before about air filtration using fabric to filter the air.To be washed underground and smog particles buried.Fabric could be oiled fresh to be hanging from solar powered fan or so,to catch smog/dust particles.Note no real chemicals can clean chemicals from the ozone without causing problems in the chain of life,of something..Tree’s use to filter now tree’s are nearly gone,,,Coal is Australia’s near biggest industrial export so getting a backer for a free energy invention in Australia.I don’t think i could.Can email a better discription of my patent design,basic as it is

  10. Why does Branson think there is a scientific technological solution? We must become socially and personally responsible for our destructive catastrophic emmissions. To begin with a draconian piece of legislation such as the Chinese had to control their population growth (one child per family) must be put in place, as people would not do so voluntarilly. One vehicle a household. People will scramble to rearrange there lives. Like the Chinese, there would be abuses, but the legislation would immediately result in a reduction of harmful co2 emmissions. There is no time to waste. Irregardless of any prize, I submit this as a life sustaining strategy.

  11. (Quote ) – “It is not the amount of work one puts into one’s research, but the quality of the time you devote. Many of the Nobel-winning experiments took very little time and energy to do. What made them landmarks in science was the fact that they took a look at something from a different perspective. Most of the experiments were elegantly simple. They were condensed right down to the fundamentals of logic: “if…, then….” What is more is that they applied that logic to very momentous questions. You might define such questions as pertaining to characteristics of a large sector of the universe. “ ( Un-Quote )

  12. We have a solution that converts CO2 gas to ethanol, methanol and butanol, via electrochemical means. All we need is CO2, water and electricity (process uses about 4 kw per liter of alcohol output). I have entered the Virgin Earth Challenge – but if you read the terms carefully, you’ll see that the prize is not very attainable. Right now we’re seeking second stage development financing to bring to market.

  13. It is wonderful idea.I am invololved in natural resource management for the past 40 odd years.
    I feel that a combination of them will be helpful in making the world greener,cleaner,healthier and prosperous. If you are interested e-mail to me.

  14. Hi, I heard about the Virgin Earth Challenge on the news and it seems a great ideea, but entering the site I found no info about how to reply some ideeas. My first guess is that they did this just to atract some publicity apon them. I saw no intrest from the judges of the contest to get viable resolutions for the greenhouse efect {Al Gore’s hudge energy consumption at his masion got me thinking if he’s doing just a continuously publicity campaign with An Inconvenience Truth, and not respecting what he said, although he commented that the power comes from renewvable sorces}. I have an ideea how to stop the global warming for a short period of time(10-20years), in which we can reduce the CO2 emissions and refreez the north and south poles. This is done not by refering to new types of fuels(cause that would take some time, time which the world does not have{predictions say that in the summer of 2010 there will be temperatures as high as 65degrees Celsius}), but by blocking the sun rays with aluminium powder and other reflecting powder placed in the upper atmosphere. This powder would bloch just a part of the sun. Just think about it ;)

  15. I have an idea which transcends removal of CO2 from the atmosphere, and would give the world limitless clean energy without resort to nuclear – fission, fusion or any other.

    However, your competition is couched in terms of ‘removal of CO2 from the atmosphere’; so,

    What are the terms and conditions of the competition, how do I enter and what is your website?

  16. Sir,
    I submitted entry form duly filled in to register myself as entrant and send by mail to ‘vargin earth challenge,120 campden hill road,London W8,7AR,U.K on 23rd March,2007.
    So far I have not recieved any kind of acknowledgement to know my position. Kindly reply the same soon.

    with kind regards your’s sincerely
    D.V.Subbs Rao

  17. Hello again i have entered earth challenge with a short description,of my so basic design,,Frictionless controlled using magnets(neodymium)…..fixed gravity fed magnetic drop arms,between frictionless turbines,,and a 1st unique design i own for continued revolutions.?………….any size any modifications, ,from wind to gravity assisted….so basic gravity can rule if no friction.

  18. Hello,I have been excepted in Earth Challenge,My design of a single(free energy wheel) or co-joined (gravity turbine), ,frictionless CONTROLLED.Powered by gravity.Size/weight/ratio is amount of power.Adaptable to car gravity g-force,even wind assisted.A 3d graphics is near ready,showing the simplicities. Easier for translation of my design,to others..Thank you

  19. Hi,

    Thanks to Richard Branson who is making managing climate change appealing to everyone.

    Perhaps he could also provide an incentive for energy producers to uncouple their production from carbon emissions. Reducing is important too.

    Lets use the technology that we do have to good effect. And lets try not to put off the conservative corporate world with hippy talk:)

  20. Name : Afif abou-Raphael


    Website :

    I am the inventor of a new power generation station called (SELF-PROPELLED ENERGY GENERATOR) that uses only atmospheric air and a limited recycled quantity of water. My apparatus was verified and approved by Dr. Elias Masry from germany .

    I am very interested and very exited by your price of $25 millions for the best invention that can help reducing Greenhouse gases.

    I am providing you with my net website that includes mostly all what it is needed to understand my invention. And if you would like to receive more information, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

    Afif Abouraphael

    Tel. 613 853 2615

  21. I believe, you might be interested in reading my solution to the carbon dioxide problem. It’s an online version of my entry into a certain challenge. The name of the challenge must remain unspoken at this point due to clauses in the participation agreement I signed. This is not some kind of humorous foolishness. I believe I have come up with a realistic commonsense approach that will actually work.
    By using my, patent pending, method we get an economically advantageous side benefit, that might make this solution profitable for most everyone. I respectfully recommend that you add a link to my page from your pages. Though you don’t really need it, I give you my permission to do this. You may if you wish, quote up to 300 words of my entry document on your pages.

    Sincerely; William Eugene Malley

  22. Hello,
    Please send me the contests terms and conditions please. I will like to participate with a mega-project.


  23. Some times I think that the virgin earth contest is a joke for publicity. Because there is no way to contact organization.
    – Mr Algore is doing a very good community service giving conferences on climate change – but not been an engineer to understand some atmosphere fenomena that change the earth climates- then he needs -Advise- to polish his mind of some misinformation that transmites in every speech.
    – I would like to get in touch with him to talk the point.
    And Mr Branson needs to clear out misinformation stored on his hard disc.

  24. Hi Jose:

    It is interesting that many people have complained that they are unable to contact Virgin Earth.

    The website has a Act Now section where you are suppossed to leave your contact info and they would get back to you when they have more details.

    It would mean that they are still not ready to go through the process.

    Incidently, I am reading Sir Richard Branson’s autobiography/success tips books “Lets not Screw it, Let’s Just do it”. Branson is a honest guy from what I can say.

    It will be good to wait and see how it goes with the prize.

    The bigger part which I do not understand is why people are leaving their contact info and ideas on my blog and expecting anything to happen!

  25. Mr Edward Kennedy:
    Your are ALL mix up on -who knows whom Theory is this- THAT OZONE IS BEEN FORMED BY THE WATER AND POLE ICE……
    ………GET IT?…….DO YOU KNOW IT?

  26. Dear Mr Suhit Anantula:
    Your blog is a very helpfull way to disclose and debate very good ideas -and you can appreciate intelligence of conterpart- however be carefull not to enter trash ideas that misinform your audience -like the guy that says that ozone is accumulated in huge amounts, while ozone is been depleted proportionally as forests are depleted too -by crasy humans-.
    – Look……Enough OZONE -O3- is produced from OXIGEN -O2- by UV sunlight during day-time but reaction reverses during night-time every single day -then O3 will never be accumulated-
    – Instead, OZONO lives Vital-Energy in your longs every time you sucks air.
    – It is true, every thing in excess is so bad:
    like you can give off just drinking 8 lts of water, too. It just hapens such insident.
    – Or, CO2 causes dead if you sucks it in excess, into your garage only.
    I hope you understad the point.

  27. Green house effect is false -and tricky sentence that petroleum guys want us to belive in- to confuse all of us.

    – Sun Radiation is in a perfect Thermal Equilibrium with Earth ever since. is`nt it so?. OK

    – Then , No need to use satelite mirrors to BLIND AND REDUCE incoming solar energy -to avoid climate change- sun has never been harmfull to Earth.

    – CAUSE: The real cause is down here, where HUGE amounts of waisted heat -from more than 6 billions tons of hot gases per year- generated while burning fuels -in motor vehicles, water heaters, boilers, thermoelectric generators, driers, ranges, ovens, etc-. For those that understand a math equation, the problem results from the extra added heat to atmosphere:

    – sun energy + waisted heat from burning fuels = atmosphere overheating

    – Do you know what happen now that petroleum XX century is gone and Solar XXI century with free sun energy will replace fuels? ……very simple…..the expensive and depleted petroleum price will go down to 1 cent per barrel and that will brake off petroleum industry -and peaple will have more money to buy something else- OK?


    1. It is urgent to replase all combustion equipment and engines -with solar and electric powered ones-.

    2. As well as urgent is to reforest the world with billions of trees which clean air -by sucking CO2 + solar UV and heat- to return us pure OXIGEN instead-. They dont heat the air -you see?-.

    – HOW YOU CAN HELP: I urge any body who has responsability of enviromental care and have funds to support any projects and products that pursue this chage over -to a new solar and electric eco-culture-.

    – I hope you understanding now of the real problem will help -to communicate all your friends what is going on -to become more that only green peaple but ecology oriented peaple -instead-.

    jmjr, mexico

  28. is hard to get assistance for just good 3D software.To explain the GRAVITY TURBINE is hard in such short notes.If seen,many people will be amazed at the simplicities in my designs.Gravity can rule if no friction.I want to enter this to the world,for our children to at least see a future in our worlds developement.Instead of its downfall.Solar sounds good but one volcanic/bushfire cloud and solar is useless.My GRAVITY TURBINE design uses IN SET magnetic drop arms(neodymium).For gravity drop motion. Controlled in on the up side rotation(motion).Sitting between circular water bouyancies.Any size can be made..lots of particulars missing of cause…This is only one of my free energy designs,,good 3D software is all we need..Who assist in 3D,,thank you please point at least..

  29. Hello,i just received the 3D software i/we needed.Lets hope this old computer can handle it.The GRAVITY TURBINE will be understood better once seen.It is hard to explain a design that i only relate to.Seeing it should amaze many in its simple design features..till then bye..

  30. According to Mr Lovelock it is already too late. In a recent article in Rolling Stone magazine he suggests that the earth is a super organism that controls it’s own enviroment. He suggests that we are it’s brains and nervous system and we must do what we can to fix this problem of global warming that we created. We are not the brains and nervous system but like a tick on a dog. The earth has had enough of our polluting of the planet and will do what it needs to do in order to survive. Which is to eliminate the threat…us. You want to eliminate the problem than get rid of 6 billion people. Not a feasible option. But that is what Mr. Lovelock says the earth will do on it’s own in the next 100 years or so. I applaud those who strive to fix an ongoing problem. I feel sorry for the next generations who will suffer the most from our arrogance. Don’t worry the earth will always be here, but humans may not. That’s evolution!

  31. Aviation industry consumes approximately 3 Trillion gallions of jet fuel annually. Jet engines use 60% to 70% of their fuel energy just to operate the engine. This energy is converted from mechanical energy to useable thrust energy in my patent pending Turbo Ramjet Hybrid Engine, reducing fuel consumption by 50%. This engine will make supersonic travel practical.

  32. The burning of fossel fuel is probably our greatest polluters. Reducing fossel fuel burning is the quickest reduction of pollutents there are. Fuel is approximately 1/3 the operating cost of airlines, a reduction of 50% of fuel would make every airline would want to replace their present jet engines with turbo ramjet hybrid engines.

  33. we can react the industrial co2 with the mixture of koh, ba(oh)2,ca(oh)2,and we can use charcole as an adsorbent we will make a slide like preparation with this
    chemical mixture and that slide will be placed in between factory out let tubesof co2 they will react with the co2and forms a precipitate after some time the slide
    is removed and the precipitate like caco3 baco3 NA2CO3 are collected.In heating they give co2 this co2 will use immidiatly in co2 involving reactions like dry ice preparation , urea preparation ,etc. then net co2 is lossed
    we are now working in preparing a model .we will done it soon.

  34. Hi ,we all know that main sources of co2 are mobile exhausts
    2.industrial exhausts

    # we treat auto mobile exhausts by reacting with hydroxides of calcium , potasium,barium etc. the adsorbence value can be increased by using adsorbents like charcoal, silica .
    the above process will also be used for industries and convert into carbonates .

    # The formed carbonates will release co2 on heating, this co2 will onvert into DRY ICE on cooling and form acids like acetic acid by treating with organo metaliic reagent(r-mg-x),(r-li)etc .the formed acetic acid will easily convert into volatile ester byreacting with alcohol.this ester may be used as FUEL.


  35. The U.S. and other developed countries should back thier curreny with an alternative unit of energy such as a WATT HOUR/BTU unit of energy. A policey shift would encourage economic devepment of alternative green technology. The manufacturing of solar, wind geothermal, fuel cell, bio diesel, tidal, hybrid’s and other green inventions and the consumer end use of the products manufactured would have a monetary value credited to the currency on both the production and consumer end. The U.S. produced 6% of it’s electricity in 2004 from alternative technology, Denmark produces approximately 50% of its electirity now from wind generation and Iceland depends largley on geothermal for electric production. A simple political decision to back a countries currency with an alternatie unit of energy would stimulate R & D and a world wide economic boom to any countries bold enough to make the right choice. No major regulatory body would be needed and the competion between multiple countries backing their curreny with alternative energy units would over time create a climate less dependent on Middle east oil and the need to fight for such resources. The green currency link would help develop an international environment frantic to create clean Co2 emmission technology benefiting the world.

  36. I am convinced that burying co2 is not a viable solution. These gases will eventually work themselves back into our atmosphere by natural means. Some have advocated burial of these gases at sea, which will also allow their eventual escape into the atmosphere. Also, burial at sea could damage aquatic life and create a “dead sea” phenomenon. We must develop sequestration methods, but expulsion from our atmosphere is needed, to permanently dispose of these gases. I sincerely hope that the methods proposed by some of burying these gases are discouraged.

  37. The key to solving our global warming crisis lies within the buildings sector. Residential and commercial structures waste entirely too much energy, of which is created through a very inefficient means.

    Westcrete Building Systems has the answers – too exhaustive to spell out here.

    Richard Branson, send that money my way and we can immediately begin reversing the warming process!

    Shane Gaddes
    Society’s change agent

  38. Pingback: A Cool $25 Million to "Cool" the Earth? « Thehouseai’s Weblog

  39. A presentation needs to be made to the federal government in the guise of a videogame traffic simulation (which can be played like a game for revenue) for wide spread demonstration of a new method of transportation which utilizes rail and switch. This would eventually replace the oil wasteland with close generation energies and might also be used prove new landscape designs in the drafting.

  40. I dont think anyone should worry anymore, Just wait untill the prize is announced. The future for our planet is beautiful. Imagine an invention bigger than splitting of the atom or the micro chip. Its simplicity and function is as beautiful as nature itself. There is a new age coming and the human race will see through new eyes.


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