On-Site Magazine

Calgary start-up signs deal to work with Lafarge on CO2-infused concrete additives

July 22, 2021   By On-Site Staff

The cement and concrete industry is a large contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. PHOTO: Getty Images/Simonkr

Lafarge Canada and a Calgary start-up working to commercialize a new process for embedding carbon dioxide in concrete additives have signed a deal to work together on putting the technology to wider use.

The non-binding agreement between the Canadian arm of building materials giant LafargeHolcim and Carbon Upcycling Technologies will allow for the integration of the Calgary firm’s CO2-rich additives into Lafarge’s concrete production operations. It could also lead Carbon Upcycling toward expanding its additive production capacity with the construction of larger processing facilities.

“The results we’ve seen with Carbon Upcycling are really promising,” said Brad Kohl, president and CEO of Lafarge Western Canada, in a release. “Across our industry, we are all driven to capture and utilize CO2 wherever we can.”

Along with other cement and ready-mix producers, Lafarge has been working to dramatically reduce the CO2 emissions tied to both its cement and concrete. The new partnership could see Lafarge trim the carbon footprint of its concrete while also strengthening it.

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Currently, CO2 emissions linked to the cement and concrete industry totals around eight per cent of total global emissions.

Using a catalytic reactor filled with CO2 and waste material such as fly ash, fuel slag and crushed glass, Carbon Upcycling’s process forces the feedstocks to absorb CO2 while also improving their cementitious properties. The CO2-infused fly ash, slag or other waste products are then used as concrete additives, trapping the CO2 and decreasing the amount of cement required in the mix. The process can reduce the footprint of some concrete mix designs by up to 25 per cent.

“By collaborating with Lafarge we are taking a meaningful step towards providing the construction community with the tools that will define the circular carbon infrastructure and the impending Carbon Age,” Apoorv Sinha, Carbon Upcycling’s CEO and co-founder, said in a release.

 

Watch out for On-Site’s August issue for more details on Carbon Upcycling and the wider effort to reduce CO2 emissions in the cement and concrete industry


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