CarbonCure Technologies is a Canadian carbon-tech company that 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 large investment from Amazon’s $2-billion Climate Pledge Fund in 2020, and the company is also supported by Bill Gates.
The company had set a goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. This target is 10 years earlier than the global commitments for the Paris Climate Agreement.
CarbonCure is, among 86 large and small companies which are promising to reduce their carbon footprint in the latest round of the Climate Pledge, an effort led by Amazon and climate-action advocacy group Global Optimism.
The cement that came eventually was stronger than conventionally manufactured concrete. This meant that it will be used in smaller amounts. The company says CarbonCure concrete has a 5-percent lower footprint than regular concrete.
Around 400 concrete plants use CarbonCure’s concrete technology all over the world. The company introduces recycled carbon dioxide into its recipe, even though the recipe still includes cement.
CarbonCure has made a technology for manufacturing an additive from carbon dioxide extracted from the stacks of such emitters as fertilizer plants and industrial gas manufacturers. It provides environmental benefit twice, by diverting the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere and converting it into a mineral, then locking the resulting product away in concrete to use it as an alternative for the Portland cement.
CarbonCure permanently locks captured carbon dioxide in concrete up to millennia. Upon injection, the CO2 immediately turns into rock. Even if this concrete is broken, the mineralized CO2 does not leak or return to the atmosphere.
According to the company, the process adds enough strength to reduce the concrete needed for a project by roughly 5 percent.
The cement industry has always been among the biggest CO2 discharge sources with 1984 lbs (900 kg) CO2 released with each production per one metric ton of cement. CarbonCure is one solution among many for cutting emissions from cement, which makes up around 8 percent of the global total.
CarbonCure could seek a public listing down the road as the company expands, according to CarbonCure CEO Rob Niven.
“Certainly we’re considering that. I think you have to keep all your options open but that would certainly be a probable outcome for CarbonCure,” he said.