Quebec-based company that has devised a way to produce cement-free, carbon-negative concrete moves ahead in international competition to convert carbon emissions into valuable products
Montreal, April 9, 2018 — Carbicrete Inc., a Montreal-based cleantech company, has announced that they have been named one of 10 finalist teams from five countries advancing in the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, a four-and-a-half-year global competition challenging teams to transform the way the world addresses CO2 emissions with breakthrough circular carbon technologies that convert carbon dioxide emissions from power plants into valuable products. As part of the finalist selection, Carbicrete has been awarded an equal share of a $5 million milestone prize for developing new approaches that have the potential to transform our climate future.
The names of the finalists were revealed at Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Future of Energy Summit in New York City. Carbicrete is one of four Canadian teams to make it through to the final round, and the only team from Quebec.
Carbicrete is commercializing a technology that enables the production of cement-free, carbon-negative concrete. If adopted, the technology could have a profound effect on greenhouse gas emissions by the construction industry, as cement production accounts for 5 percent of the world’s GHG emissions.
What makes Carbicrete’s technology unique is that it completely eliminates the need for cement in precast concrete by replacing it with steel slag, a steel industry by-product. Carbicrete then injects the fresh concrete with CO2 to give it its strength. During this process, the CO2 is permanently sequestered in the finished construction product.
“Our solution isn’t just carbon-neutral,” says Carbicrete’s CEO, Chris Stern. “It’s carbon-negative. What’s more, because steel slag is effectively waste, our material costs are significantly lower, allowing us to offer the construction industry a more cost-effective product with even better strength and durability properties than conventional concrete.”
To win a place in the finals, Carbicrete demonstrated its process in a small-scale pilot facility at McGill University, where the technology was developed. Over the course of a 10-month period, the team was challenged to meet minimum technical requirements and was audited by XPRIZE’s independent verification partner Southern Research. The team was then evaluated by the competition’s judges based on how much CO2 was converted into products, the economic value, market size, and CO2 uptake potential of those products, the overall CO2 footprint of the process, as well as energy efficiency, materials use, land use, and water use.
In the next phase, Carbicrete must demonstrate its process at a scale that is at least ten times greater what was required in the semifinals requirements, at a purpose-built industrial test site at the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre, a new carbon conversion research hub in Calgary, Alberta.
“Advancing to the XPRIZE finals is a proud moment for Carbicrete,” says Stern. “Our participation in XPRIZE has already been extremely rewarding and has accelerated our path to commercialization. We look forward to this next step which will allow us to demonstrate our technology at scale that can be truly game-changing.”
Carbicrete is a Montreal-based cleantech company that develops innovative, low-cost building solutions that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Carbicrete’s patent-pending technology enables the production of cement-free, carbon-negative concrete using industrial by-products and captured CO2. The company offers concrete manufacturers the process, materials and support to make lower-cost, higher-quality precast concrete in a way that reduces their carbon footprint. carbicrete.com