Hardened Storage: CarbonBuilt debuts as its concrete-based carbon sequester tech advances

March 2, 2021 |

In California, CO2Concrete changed its name to CarbonBuilt to better align with its mission to store significant amounts of carbon dioxide in concrete used for the built environment. The company also announced the appointment of climate-tech veteran Rahul Shendure as Chief Executive Officer, known throughout the industry for his work in pre-IPO days at Amyris and later at Ballard Power Systems.

What is it?

Its Reversa process injects CO2 emissions taken directly from industrial sources into proprietary low-carbon concrete formulations. This revolutionary approach reduces overall CO2 emissions by more than 50 percent while creating end products that meet industry specifications and increase profitability for concrete producers. CarbonBuilt was spun out of UCLA’s Institute for Carbon Management, which is led by Professor Gaurav Sant of the Samueli School of Engineering.

Why a big deal? 

It’s a carbon sequestration play, featuring the permanent storage offered by concrete as a building material. That has a lot of appeal for industries as they seek places to inject CO2 other than down oil wells — which may be in short supply some day. CarbonBuilt is a finalist for the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, a global contest designed to foster and fund the development of breakthrough technologies that convert CO emissions into usable products.

How does it work?

The Reversa formulation(s) includes calcium hydroxide, a commodity chemical used in a wide range of applications, and enables the increased and more flexible use of waste materials like fly ash. In Reversa’s curing process, CO2 contained within dilute flue gas streams (with no requirement for capture or purification) is permanently sequestered into the concrete. Together, these innovations enable concrete manufacturers to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of their products in a manner that increases profitability.

Progress towards scale

The first field demonstration of the technology at scale took place at the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority’s Integrated Test Center, in Gillette (on the western edge of Wyoming’s Thunder Basin coal country), where the team successfully sequestered waste CO2 from a coal-fired power plant in more than 10,000 concrete blocks. A second demonstration, using waste CO2 from a natural gas-fired turbine at the National Carbon Capture Center in Alabama, is currently under way. These demonstrations highlight the technology’s ability to accommodate a wide range of dilute CO2 streams, unlocking the potential for partnerships across a wide range of industries.

Reaction from the stakeholders

“The incredible size of the concrete market and its ability to permanently store carbon make it perhaps the best opportunity the world has to reduce CO2 emissions,” said Shendure. “Our ‘no compromise’ concrete meets the sustainability needs of builders and customers while offering a compelling value proposition for concrete producers and companies seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. Together, this adds up to the potential for a gigaton-scale reduction in emissions.”

More on the story here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Top Stories

Thank you for visting the Digest.