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CO2-Capturing Aggregate Processor Calera Lands $19.8 Million DOE Grant

Los Gatos, Calif.-based Calera Corp. is poised to design, build and operate a system that mineralizes carbon dioxide from flue gas, yielding carbonate-bearing aggregate for construction fill or cement mill raw feed

 

Sources: U.S. Department of Energy; CP staff
By Don Marsh

Los Gatos, Calif.-based Calera Corp. is poised to design, build and operate a system that mineralizes carbon dioxide from flue gas, yielding carbonate-bearing aggregate for construction fill or cement mill raw feed. The company garnered a nearly $20 million grantÛdrawn from DOE stimulus allocationsÛbased on a small-scale CO2 absorption facility at Moss Landing, near its northern California headquarters.

A proposed material production system will be integrated with the absorption facility to demonstrate the process at what Energy officials note is significant scale. The Calera process is one of six CO2 emissions-capturing technologies for which the department has committed $106 million, matched by $156 million in private funds. System development cost-sharing is likely tied to a $15 million Calera equity stake coal giant Peabody Energy acquired earlier this year.

Recognizing CO2-capturing technology elsewhere in the industry, DOE announced a $25 million grant to Austin, Texas-based Skyonic Corp., which has deployed test-scale mineralization technology at Capitol AggregatesÌ San Antonio cement plant. Intended as a replacement for existing scrubber technology, the SkyMine process transforms CO2 into solid carbonate and/or bicarbonate materials while also removing sulfur oxides, nitrogen dioxide, mercury and other heavy metals from cement or other industrial process flue gas streams.

Skyonic, Calera and four other grant recipients qualified for second-phase DOE funding after technology demonstrations that followed first-phase, October 2009 grants. "These projects convert carbon pollution from a climate threat to an economic resource," said Secretary Steven Chu, and are "part of our broad commitment to unleash the American innovation machine and build the thriving, clean energy economy of the future."