Carbon Cure Technologies, a Canadian carbon technology company, makes a cement-like material from CO2 that reduces the carbon footprint of concrete. The material has attracted a lot of attention since it acquired a major investment from Amazon’s $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund in 2020, and the company is also backed by Bill Gates.
The company had set a goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040, a decade ahead of global commitments for carbon. Paris Climate Agreement.
CarbonCure is among 86 companies large and small pledging to reduce their carbon footprint in the latest round of Climate Pledge, an effort led by Amazon and a climate action advocacy group Global optimism.
Additionally, more than 200 companies representing $1.8 trillion in revenue have agreed to pursue a tougher carbon reduction target, reducing their total emissions by 1.98 billion metric tons per year through 2040.
The resulting cement, however, is stronger than conventionally made concrete, so builders can use smaller amounts in their mixes. The company claims that CarbonCure concrete has a 5% smaller footprint than regular concrete.
Approximately 400 concrete plants worldwide use CarbonCure’s concrete technology; the company introduces recycled carbon dioxide into its recipe, even though the recipe still includes cement.
CarbonCure has developed technology to make an additive from carbon dioxide extracted from the stacks of emitters such as fertilizer plants and industrial gas manufacturers, the company explains. It provides a dual environmental benefit, by diverting greenhouse gas from the atmosphere and converting it into a mineral, then encasing the resulting product in concrete for use as a replacement for Portland cement.
CarbonCure permanently locks in carbon dioxide captured in concrete for up to millennia, according to the company. Upon injection, the CO2 immediately turns into rock. Even if this concrete is broken, the mineralized CO2 does not leak out and return to the atmosphere.
The process adds enough strength to reduce the concrete needed for a project by about 5%, according to the company.
The cement industry has historically been one of the largest sources of CO2 release with 1984 lbs (900 kg) of CO2 released with each production per metric ton of cement. CarbonCure is one solution among others to reduce cement emissions, which represent up to 8% of the global total.
Although there are no current plans, CarbonCure may seek public listing as the company expands, according to CarbonCure CEO Rob Niven.
“We are definitely thinking about it. I think you have to keep all your options open, but that would definitely be a likely outcome for CarbonCure,” he said.
A company that might be able to cut emissions from a huge industry like cement manufacturing is great news, because some companies might be. make things worse than they already are by releasing more carbon than they capture.