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Energy Department extends CO2-cured concrete research commitment

Sources: Solidia Technologies, Piscataway, N.J.; CP staff

The next phase of “Utilization of CO2 in High Performance Building and Infrastructure Products,” a four-year research and development project supporting commercialization of carbon dioxide-reducing cement and concrete processes, will commence with an additional $752,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).

 

Co-funded by Solidia Technologies and NETL through its Carbon Storage Technology program, the project aims to use an alternative binder to ordinary portland cement to produce a CO2-cured concrete. Solidia Cement is a synthesized, alkali-earth compound that can be milled from the same raw materials and in the same kilns as ASTM C150 product, albeit with lower energy consumption and reduced CO2 emissions. CO2-cured Solidia Concrete offers improved mechanical properties and durability compared to conventional portland cement concrete, product developers contend, while allowing for the safe and effective storage of CO2 in construction materials.

Since its inception, the project has focused on the development and optimization of Solidia’s proprietary CO2-curing process. The technology has evolved to the point where Solidia Concrete can be made using materials and equipment common to portland cement concrete production. That facilitates quick adoption across the entire precast concrete market, and magnifies the ability of the program to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels.

The project will now focus on demonstrating CO2 reduction and storage capabilities on a prototype scale in a commercial concrete plant. The new research objectives, designed to help advance the technology towards commercialization, include demonstration of 1) the basic performance of Solidia Cement produced at a commercial cement plant; and, 2) the utility of the binder in at least six different precast concrete applications.

“Successful commercialization of Solidia Concrete technology would benefit national efforts to reduce carbon emissions,” says NETL Carbon Storage Technology Manager Traci Rodosta. “Using CO2 rather than emitting the greenhouse gas to the atmosphere is a win-win situation. This project illustrates the potential of the Solidia technology to reduce CO2 emissions in the near term, as we continue investigating further solutions as part of the president's ‘all of the above’ energy strategy.”

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