Sources: Peabody Energy, St. Louis; Calera Corp., Los Gatos, Calif.; CP staff
Coal market leader Peabody Energy reports a $15 million equity interest in Calera Corp., whose research into carbon dioxide capture from power stations, cement plants and other industrial sources is leading to a process for synthetic aggregate and supplementary cementitious materials.
Calera technology derives solid carbonates from carbon dioxide and mineral-laden water sources. Testing indicates a potential to capture a half-ton of CO2 per ton of synthetic aggregate or SCM. "We believe the CO2 used in our process could exceed the current generation rate of [the greenhouse gas] from all global industrial and utility sources, affirms Calera founder and CEO Dr. Brent Constantz. The potential is enormous.
Calera announced its technology to construction interests at the 2009 World of Concrete in Las Vegas. Underscoring its ambitions in commercial mix designs, Calera retained Master Builders veteran and American Concrete Institute past president Terence Holland as interim vice president. Now a Calera senior fellow, he continues to oversee the synthetic aggregate and SCM development in a cement and concrete testing lab at company headquarters, near San Jose.
"Calera's emerging technology represents an innovative solution to advance our energy, environmental and economic goals by recycling carbon dioxide into beneficial building products, says Peabody Senior Vice President Frederick Palmer, adding that his company is advancing more than a dozen projects to commercialize low-carbon technologies. The coal giant joins a group of Calera investors that includes Vinod Khosla, a Silicon Valley, Calif., venture capitalist best known as Sun Microsystems founding chief executive officer. ÛDon Marsh