“We need policy makers to make policy, to reduce barriers so we can take carbon dioxide (CO2) and reuse it in a beneficial way to create value.”
Those were the words of Dean Forgeron, Senior Vice-President of Engineering and System Development at CarbonCure Technologies at CarbonCure, when he spoke on the first part of gasworld TV’s two-part CO2 series on Friday (23rd July).
Headquartered in San Francisco, CarbonCure develops CO2-utilisation technologies that consume industrial CO2 to manufacture valuable products to help decarbonise the concrete industry.
Informing gasworld TV on the progress the company has already made, Forgeron, said, “We’ve installed in about 330 plants to date and by the end of next month will be over 400 plants globally. Currently in about five continents, and when we enter 400 thresholds, we should be in seven continents - so we’re really starting to expand globally.
“Further to that, we’ve injected CO2 into 1.5 million truckloads of CarbonCure base concrete mixers to date and this is ramping quite aggressively, especially with these additional accounts.”
“These producers are putting all these trucks into sustainable construction projects worldwide. So, what we’ve done through our analytics is calculated that we remove more than 120,000 tonnes of embodied carbon today from the atmosphere.”
CarbonCure’s technology and decarbonised concrete is clearing taking the market by storm – but just how do the produce the carbon neutral cement? “We inject CO2 into the fresh concrete while it’s mixing and once it’s injected,” Forgeron explained.
“The interesting part is it’s chemically converted into a mineral, so it actually hardens into a mineral and it’s permanently eliminated from the environment.”
As well as being beneficial to the environment, the decarbonised cement also holds numerous other advantages. “It [the process] actually improves concrete properties, allowing the producer to actually optimise how to make concrete and further reduce the environmental impact. The future is interesting.”
Artificial Intelligence and policy
Widely used across many other sectors in the industrial gases business, artificial intelligence also plays a huge part within CarbonCure and its activities. “We rely heavily on digitisation and machine learning and AI within this concrete production, and we think the industry is going to do that as well from selecting components to make concrete, optimising natural processes and quality control and design optimisation and the optimisation of concrete delivery.”
“We really feel that this industry is going to move in that direction.”
Along with artificial intelligence, Forgeron explained that CarbonCure also believes that policy is needed to really make the most out of the industry. “The concrete industry can make a significant impact. In fact, to make this clearer, we have developed a roadmap and we call the Carbon Cure’s Roadmap to Five Hundred Megatons, and it details how we’re going to do it.”
“But for this to happen, we are going to need 166 megatons of CO2 a year, near the end of this of this journey - t there’s a lot of opportunity for you to capture and production. The interesting part is for all this to happen, we need a few critical policies to be put in place.”
“We need policymakers to make policy, to reduce barriers so we can take the CO2 and reuse it in a beneficial way and create value from the CO2 rather than just sequestering it underground.”