Finland-based Carbonaide has raised €1.8m (c.£1.75m) in seed funding in a bid to kickstart the manufacture of its carbon-negative concrete.
The round was led by Lakan Betoni and Vantaa Energy, and includes public loans and in-kind contributions from Business Finland and other Finnish concrete companies and strategic investors.
Carbonaide, a spin-out company from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, provides CO2 utilisation and storage technology for the concrete industry.
Commenting on the raise, Juho Hiltunen, CEO of Lakan Betoni, said: “As new innovations take ground, the demand for low-carbon products will likely increase.
“New technologies, such as Carbonaide, provide the means for the industrial-scale production of affordable low-carbon products.
“We’re happy to support Carbonaide scale up its production and realise the world’s first CO2 curing integration to a fully automated precast concrete production line.”
Carbonaide’s solution is based on a carbonation method that binds carbon dioxide into precast concrete using an automated system at atmospheric pressure.
Carbonaide says the technology can halve the CO2 emissions of traditional Portland cement concrete by reducing the required cement content and mineralising CO2 into concrete.
Matti Wallin, Business director, Vantaa Energy Ltd, one of Carbonaide’s strategic investors, said: “Avoiding carbon dioxide emissions should always be the primary mechanism to foster biodiversity.
“However, carbon capture and permanent storage of unavoidable CO2 emissions are needed to enable a sustainable carbon cycle – e.g., in the waste-to-energy sector.
“Carbonaide technology is an excellent example of how to both reduce and utilise existing CO2 in new products and permanently store carbon from the cycle.”
‘Sustainable future with cutting-edge tech’
Carbonaide aims to open 10 operational units in the Nordics by 2026 and bind approximately 500 megatons of carbon dioxide annually by 2050.
This equates to between 10-20% of the concrete market.
Tapio Vehmas, CEO of Carbonaide, said: “We have demonstrated in the pilot unit that our technology is capable of reducing the CO2 emissions of conventional concrete by 45%.
“Last autumn, we demonstrated lowering our products’ carbon footprint to -60 kg/m3 by replacing Portland cement with slag.
“Our first pilot unit had limited capacity, so we’re grateful to our investors for the chance to upscale our technology to a factory-sized pilot and demonstrate the technology full-scale.
“Our goal at Carbonaide is to create a more sustainable future with cutting-edge tech that doesn’t just reduce the carbon emissions of construction materials like concrete, but that traps more CO2 than they emit throughout their lifetime.
“It is very natural that the constructed environment becomes a CO2 sink as it is the largest volume of man-made material.”
Image: (L-R) Jonne Hirvonen, COO, Carbonaide; and Tapio Vehmas, CEO, Carbonaide. Credit: Carbonaide
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