New Technology Allows Concrete to Trap CO2 Emission

A major reason for climate change is said to be large-scale CO2 emissions that make the planet hotter and melt the ice caps. (Image:  pixabay /  CC0 1.0)
A major reason for climate change is said to be large-scale CO2 emissions that make the planet hotter and melt the ice caps. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

A major reason for climate change is said to be large-scale CO2 emissions that make the planet hotter and melt the ice caps. But what if we developed a technology that could control CO2 emissions in a productive way? That is a question CarbonCure, a Candian startup based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, answers with its unique offering.

The CarbonCure revolution

While scientists across the world are debating how to reduce CO2, the people at CarbonCure are looking for ways they can use it for the benefit of humanity. And this line of thinking has been fruitful — CarbonCure has found a way to trap CO2 emissions in concrete so that it can be used effectively in the building industry.

In order to strengthen concrete, cement is required. And according to estimates, production of cement alone contributes to almost 7 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions. Every year, close to 4 billion pounds of CO2 is emitted because of cement production. These facts alone should be enough to make anyone understand why it is important to cut down the dependence on cement. With CarbonCure, it is now possible.

CarbonCure found a way to trap CO2 emissions in concrete so that it can be used effectively in the building industry. (Image: katorisi via flickr CC BY-SA 3.0)

Using CarbonCure, you can capture CO2 and inject it into concrete during the mixing process. And once the mixture hardens, the CO2 will be transformed into a mineral and will remain forever trapped in the concrete. Plus, you can also cut down on the cement used in the concrete. And by cutting down the cement requirement, the production of cement will be reduced, which will mean lower greenhouse gas emissions.

“We’re leading that movement right now [by] showing it is possible to take CO2 and turn it into something that makes financial sense… This concept of beneficial reuse of CO2 is expected to be a one trillion dollar industry by the year 2030”, Christie Gamble, CarbonCure’s director of sustainability, says in an interview with CNN.

The future of construction

CarbonCure’s technology already has started to attract several concrete manufacturing companies. Thomson Concrete from Atlanta is one of them. Since 2016, Thomson Concrete has avoided almost 10 million pounds of CO2 emissions by using CarbonCure technology.

“By adding CarbonCure’s technology into 16 more locations, we’re simultaneously reducing our environmental footprint and providing our customers with access to an affordable greener building product across our U.S. markets”, Gas World quotes John Cook, Technical Director of Thomas Concrete USA.

CarbonCure still has a lot of work to do to fulfill its mission of reducing CO2 emissions significantly. Currently, the technology is only being used in about 90 concrete manufacturing plants in the U.S. With stronger marketing and promotions, the company seeks to make a good portion of the 5,500 concrete plants in the United States adopt their technology. And that is when things will start to have a large-scale impact. CO2 emissions will fall rapidly on a yearly basis and ensure a more environment-friendly world.

CarbonCure still has a lot of work to do to fulfill its mission of reducing CO2 emissions significantly. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

CarbonCure still has a lot of work to do to fulfill its mission of reducing CO2 emissions significantly. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

According to Gamble, when the CarbonCure technology is adopted internationally, it will eventually prevent around 700 megatons of CO2 from being freed into the atmosphere on an annual basis. This is equivalent to taking about 150 million cars off the road each year. Though it may take several years, the team at CarbonCure is drawing up ambitious plans to make this happen.

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