Xiangkun (Elvis) Cao

North AmericaUnited States of AmericaFuture Energy Leaders CommunityAcademia & Research

Xiangkun (Elvis) Cao


Cornell University


Xiangkun (Elvis) Cao (https://www.elviscao.com/) is an honoree by three 30 under 30 lists including Forbes' 30 under 30 in Energy. His Ph.D. research at Cornell centers around scalable "artificial photosynthesis" for solar fuel production, which is featured in the World Economic Forum's white paper as an energy innovation breakthrough of the past decade (2020). He co-founded C2X (www.carbon2x.org) for reimagining CO2 emissions as an energy resource, and Food2X (www.food2x.com) for converting food waste into biogas. For his work in the sustainability sector, Elvis is selected as a Technical Working Group Member on Energy Transitions for the HighLevel Dialogue on Energy by the United Nations (2021). He is a German Chancellor Fellow (2021), Lindau Nobel Alumnus (2020), UNICEF Young Changemaker on Sustainable WASH Solutions (2020), Forbes 30 Under 30 for North America (2019), BP Future Energy Leader (2019), and UNEP Young Champions of the Earth Finalist (2020, 2019), among others. The commercial partner in this effort is a finalist (1 of 10 globally) in the $20M Carbon XPrize (2016-2021). He graduated from Cornell and McGill, with joint training at MIT.

Cornell University is a private, statutory, Ivy League and land-grant research university in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, the university was intended to teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge—from the classics to the sciences, and from the theoretical to the applied. These ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell's founding principle, a popular 1868 quotation from founder Ezra Cornell: "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study."

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