Last month, the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA; London, U.K.; https://gccassociation.org) revealed the first six startups that will be backed by its member companies as part of the first ever Innovandi “Open Challenge” in the race to achieve “net zero” CO2 emissions by 2050. The six start-ups, which were chosen from more than 100 entrants to the Open Challenge, have now joined forces with world-leading cement companies to help drive further innovation in the industry and will each form part of formal consortia to further test, develop and deploy their ground-breaking technologies, says GCCA.
One of the key focuses of the industry is to develop the technology and implementation for carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), with CarbonOrO Products B.V. (Naardem-Vesting, the Netherlands; www.carbonoro.com), MOF Technologies (Belfast, U.K.; www.moftechnologies.com) and Saipem S.p.A. (San Donato Milanese, Italy; www.saipem.com) among the start-ups that the industry is backing. GCCA members have committed to moving from the dozens of pilot projects and announcements already underway to having ten industrial-scale carbon-capture plants by 2030 as part of the landmark Net Zero Roadmap, announced in October 2021. CCUS includes a range of technologies and methods that “capture” CO2 from large sources — such as in industrial power generation. The CO2 is then either used on site or compressed and transported to be used or stored elsewhere.
Carbon Upcycling Technologies (Calgary, Canada; www.carbonupcycling.com) and Fortera Corp. (San Jose, Calif; www.forterausa.com) both use captured CO2 to produce low-carbon cement and cementitious materials. The other confirmed start-up is Coomtech Ltd. (Welney, Norfolk, U.K.; www.coomtech.com), which has developed a low-cost drying technology using kinetic energy created by managed, turbulent air.
Six newly established consortia will help to accelerate the development of technologies that reduce or eliminate carbon throughout the cement and concrete value chain. Each consortium is made up of a startup company, with their respective pioneering technology, and includes between three and eight cement companies, with 16 GCCA member companies involved across the six innovation consortia.