About 8-10% of the carbon emissions on the planet come as a result of building construction. That accounts as the second biggest contributor of greenhouse gas that hurts our environment. With a massive greenhouse issue, people are getting more concerned about the carbon emissions produced by humans. Now, what if there is a way to produce concrete with much lower carbon footprints? The new technology is called CarbonCure. This brand new system can produce more eco-friendly concrete with even better quality than regular concrete.
Invented in 2007, the name CarbonCure suits best to represent how the innovation works. It refers to a system that captures carbon dioxide and processes it to make concrete. The process can permanently turn the carbon dioxide into minerals embedded in the concrete.
Concrete manufacturers can install CarbonCure on their plants if they want to switch to the greener method in producing concrete. This innovation might be the key to reduce greenhouse gas production from construction activities.
In 2018, the company received prominent funding from some of the richest people in the world; Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, Richard Branson, Michael Bloomberg, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. The Nova Scotia-based company has collected more than $20 million of fundings.
How Carbon Dioxide Emitted from the Concrete Manufacturing
Before finding out how CarbonCure works, it is vital to understand how carbon dioxide emitted from the concrete manufacturers. So here we go.
Producing concrete requires mixing cement, water, and aggregate (rock, sand, or gravel). Water and aggregates are widely available in nature. Thus, they are still rather safe to use. However, cement is a manufactured product.
The production of cement starts by thermally decomposing limestone (calcium carbonate). This chemical process results in lime (calcium oxide) and carbon dioxide. Calcium oxide is the key ingredient to produce cement by mixing it with other ingredients. However, carbon dioxide is a total waste. Manufacturers release this carbon to the environment, which then creates greenhouse effects.
Concrete is probably the most abundant material on Earth. Of all materials used in a building, concrete is around 84% of them. While concrete itself produces carbon emission lower than most other materials, the massive quantity has caused this material to be the number one carbon emitter of all construction processes. Another source of carbon emissions from the cement and concrete industry is the usage of fossil fuels for the combustion process.
How CarbonCure Cures Carbons
Not every carbon emitted from industrial activities is polluting the atmosphere. Some went into other applications such as carbonated beverages or other production. However, these carbon particles will eventually set out free again and pollute the environment.
CarbonCure is effective to capture and seal that carbon permanently. The procedure starts by collecting carbon waste from industries. After a series of purifying and liquifying processes, the system will store the carbon in the pressurized tank and have it sent away for further processing.
Then, the CarbonCure system will take a specific dosage of carbon dioxide and inject it into wet concrete during the mixing process. As the concrete hardens, the carbon will turn into a nano-sized mineral and embedded forever in the concrete. Even when the building collapses or gets demolished, there will be no carbon waste emitted because it does not exist anymore.
Not only this technology can seal the carbon for good, but this process also makes the concrete mix to require less cement. Hence, the carbon waste decrease even more.
Transporting carbon waste from industries to produce valuable construction materials
Furthermore, injecting carbon in the mixture improves the strength of the concrete. According to research, cement-reduced concrete will have a low strength of 3600 psi, which does not meet standard criteria. However, reducing cement in a concrete mix can exceed the standard if done along by injecting carbon in the mix. This new formula results in the 4100psi, which surpasses the standard level of 4080 psi.
Since invented in 2007, CarbonCure has reduced more than 24,000 tonnes of CO² emission. That number is equivalent to the number of carbon a forest can absorb in a year within the area of 66,232 acres.
From the ready-mix production, producers can reduce their carbon emissions for approximately 25 pounds CO₂ per cubic yard. And from the masonry production, CarbonCure can help producers to cut down about 1 pound of CO₂ per 30 standard blocks.
Advantages of CarbonCure
Many people believe that this innovative technology will drastically change the construction industry. This is because CarbonCure offers many benefits that are enough to convince people to move away from the carbon-emitting concrete. Here are some of the impressive benefits:
Reducing the Need to Emit Carbon
By installing CarbonCure on their plants, companies can cut back their cement production. Use less cement means to produce less carbon emission from the process.
Sealing the Carbon Waste from Other Industries
Other than reducing carbon-trashing cement, CarbonCure can also pay off the carbon emitted by other industries. Not only for temporarily, but CarbonCure can also mineralize it for good.
Increasing the Concrete Quality
As mentioned before, injecting carbon into the concrete mixture will make the concrete stronger, even when you reduce the cement proportion on the mixture.
No Upfront Capital Cost
Capital cost is the main reason why many people are delayed their transition in greener technology. But CarbonCure does not require any upfront capital cost. Hence, companies can acquire their economical advantage soon enough.
- Cutting Cost on Concrete Production
Running your factory with CarbonCure allows you to cut back on your monthly operation cost up to $0.5 to $1 per yard cubics.
- Same Durability
CarbonCure has demonstrated a study to see the durability of carbon-injected concrete with conventional materials. The results show that the carbon containment did not decrease the durability of the concrete.
Applications on Buildings
Concrete producers who want to produce better concrete can install CarbonCure technology on their concrete plants. The main productions of CarbonCure are ready-mix materials and masonry blocks.
CarbonCure is not just a theoretical concept. Many concrete manufacturers have joined the company as partners. Nearly 100 producers in North America have installed this innovative system in their concrete plans. They have produced and distributed countless amount of materials for building constructions.
The company has an outstanding portfolio for its material applications. More than four million cubic yards of green concrete have been delivered all over the world for construction. Many kinds of projects have utilized this carbonized concrete, such as high-rise buildings, rail tracks, and even driveways.
One of the most notable buildings constructed with CarbonCure materials is the 725 Ponce de Leon Avenue N.E. Atlanta, Ga. 30306. Designed by S9 Architecture and engineered by Uzun+Case, the 360,000 square feet property has successfully saved more than 1.5 million pounds of carbon emissions.
More About the Company
CarbonCure is a Canadian company working on carbon dioxide utilization in the cement and concrete industry. The company aims to set a new standardization in the concrete industry worldwide with the concept of injecting carbon dioxide to produce greener and stronger concrete.
The idea behind this genius invention came from an engineer named Rob Nivan in 2007. It all started when he was taking his Master’s degree in Engineering where he studied the benefits of carbon for fresh concrete. In the same year, Nivan attended the United Nations Summit on Climate Change where he realized that the world needs to reduce its carbon emissions to survive. That was the time when he began researching about converting carbon dioxide into nano-minerals in a concrete mix.
Carboncure has received recognition by the Global CO² Initiative as the most scalable carbon dioxide utilization technology. The Cleantech Group also listed CarbonCure on the Top 100 Global Cleantech for three consecutive years.
XPRIZE, a non-profit foundation focusing on sustainable technology, has named CarbonCure as one out of ten finalists on their NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE. The challenge is to convert carbon waste into valuable products with scalable technology, massive carbon reduction, and economic opportunities.
Contact the company:
- Address: CarbonCure Technologies Inc., 60 Trider Crescent, Halifax, NS B3B 1R6, Canada
- Email: [email protected]
- Phone: 1.902.442.4020
- Twitter @CarbonCure
Up until today, CarbonCure is the most promising innovation in the construction business to tackle the alarming issue of the climate crisis. With so much potential, this Canadian company believes that CarbonCure will grow into a $1 trillion company and reduce global carbon emissions up to 15% in 2030.
The topic of carbon dioxide removal and carbon dioxide utilization has been a discussion. Most people are skeptical that the concept might work for tackling the climate crisis. The main reason is that most CDR and CDU technologies are too expensive. Furthermore, most of the CDU products do not provide economic benefits that make all the investment worth.
However, CarbonCure has successfully overcome the classic issue. We have seen many famous billionaires are investing in it. Manufacturers, architects, and any parties in the construction industries have been gradually transitioning to the carbon-infused concrete. It is a beneficial solution for everybody and the planet as well. With such a situation, it does not seem to be impossible for the company to reach its goal.