Concrete industry has discovered a way to lead the transition to the new low-carbon economy.
A company called CarbonCure manufactures a technology for the concrete industry that introduces recycled CO2 into fresh concrete to reduce its carbon footprint without compromising performance.
Once injected, the CO2 undergoes a mineralization process and becomes permanently embedded. This results in economic and climate benefits for concrete producers - truly a win-win.
The production of cement, the binding element in concrete, accounts for roughly 7 percent of total global carbon dioxide emissions - now averaging 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year. That's about twice as much as the global airline industry. If the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world.
Concrete is one of the most-used resources on Earth, with an estimated 26 billion tons produced annually worldwide. Given the scale of the industry and its greenhouse gas emissions, technologies that can reinvent concrete could have profound impacts on climate change.
Enter CarbonCure. “CarbonCure is on its way to achieving 500 megatons of CO2 reductions annually, helping to decarbonize the built environment while positioning the concrete industry to lead the transition to the new low-carbon economy,” says CEO and Founder Robert Niven.
How much is 500 megatons? Let’s talk about equivalents. One megaton in the metric system represents 1 million metric tons. CarbonCure are on track to remove 500 million metric tons of carbon annually.
According to the EPA, 500 million metric tons is equivalent to 126 coal plants firing non-stop for a year, or the electricity consumption of 91 million homes over a year. So, by any definintion, CarbonCure's technology can make a massive contribution. Even better, it's not a 'from now on' technology that can only be applied to new concrete plants, as it can easily be retro-fitted to any concrete plant.