Home » Tech start-ups team up with global cement companies in net-zero bid

Tech start-ups team up with global cement companies in net-zero bid

by Liam Turner
Cement being poured

Six technology start-ups, including two based in the UK, are teaming up with global cement companies to help the industry reach net-zero by 2050.

The Global Cement & Concrete Association (GCCA) has revealed the six as winners of its inaugural Innovandi ‘Open Challenge’.  

These are:

  • CarbonOrO (The Netherlands)
  • Carbon Upcycling Technologies (Canada)
  • Coomtech (UK)
  • Fortera (USA)
  • MOF Technologies (UK)
  • Saipem (Italy)

The start-ups are all focused on technologies that reduce or eliminate carbon, including carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS), the production of low-carbon cement and cementitious materials, and low-cost drying technology using kinetic energy.

The start-ups were chosen from more than 100 entrants, and come from across the world, including the USA, Canada, the UK, Italy, and the Netherlands.

GCCA members have committed to moving from the dozens of pilot projects and announcement already under way to having 10 industrial scale carbon capture plants by 2030 as part of the Net Zero Roadmap, announced in October 2021. 

CCUS includes a range of technologies and methods that ‘capture’ CO2 from large sources – such as in industrial power generation.

The CO2 is then either used on site or compressed and transported to be used or stored elsewhere.

Six newly established consortia will aim to accelerate the development of the technologies.

Each consortium is comprised of a start-up company, with their respective technology, and includes between three and eight cement companies, with 16 GCCA member companies involved across the six innovation consortia.

‘Another big step forward’

Thomas Guillot, GCCA chief executive, said: “It’s a proud moment to see the industry coming together to support such innovative start-ups on their journey.

“Our member companies were greatly impressed by their ambition to be a key part of the climate solution.

“The programme is another big step forward towards unlocking innovation to help us achieve our net-zero goal.

“As the need for resilient and sustainable communities to support a growing global population becomes more pressing, cement and concrete will be essential to providing the infrastructure and buildings that society needs.”

He continued: “Achieving net-zero concrete relies on a number of different groups playing their part, and as an industry we’re looking outwards as well as inwards, to see how start-ups like these can support our goals.

“To achieve net-zero globally by 2050, we also need to involve and support the future generations who contribute innovative ideas and energy to the industry.

“At GCCA, we’re identifying and convening research and development with great potential and offering our support through guidance and effective collaboration.”

A demonstration day is scheduled for late 2022.

Image credit: Bannafarsai_Stock/Shutterstock

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