Startups are trying to create low-carbon cement to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Concrete pollutes the environment and the industry accounts for about 2.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, which is 6 percent of global emissions.
Startups that produce low-carbon cement attract some of the most prominent venture capitalists, including Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund and Kleiner Perkins’ John Doerr.
These startups received more than $100 million in venture capital last year.
The company that finds the most efficient solution will greatly benefit from this industry, which earns at least $300 billion annually.
CarbonCure, a Canadian startup, has developed an add-on machine that injects CO2 once the cement is mixed with water and sand to produce concrete.
This makes the concrete more resistant and permanently stores CO2.
Solidia takes a different approach, producing concrete paving stones similar to those used in landscaping by hardening the material into carbon dioxide.
CarbonBuilt, another startup with roots at UCLA, develops concrete blocks that use less carbon-intensive raw materials and are cured with CO2 from flue gas.
The world’s largest cement manufacturers are also racing to “green cement” before stricter rules can be introduced for the industry.
Holcim plans to reduce emissions of cement-like material from 561 kg CO2 per tonne in 2019 to 550 kg in 2022 and to 475 kg in 2030.
Regardless, it will still be costly to produce carbon-free cement.
For more information, read original story in Arstechnica.