ImpactAlpha, March 29 – A raft of startups are developing lower-carbon construction materials for buildings, which are responsible for 40% of global carbon emissions. Carbonaide wants to go beyond low-carbon to carbon-negative.
The Finnish startup’s process for making precast concrete products (think concrete blocks) binds CO2 into the products as they cure (watch this quick explainer video).
“Our mission is to turn concrete from a large emission source into a carbon sink,” the company says.
Carbonaide, a spin-out from Finland’s VTT Technical Research Centre, raised €1.8 million for a pilot factory.
One of the main ingredients in concrete—cement—is responsible for roughly one-tenth of all carbon emissions. Carbonaide is aiming to integrate its technology into precast concrete manufacturers’ production lines. With conventional cement, the technology lowers final products’ carbon footprint; with other inputs, including industrial waste and bio-ash, final products can become carbon-negative.
The latter approach “had a negative calculated carbon footprint of -60 kilograms per cubic meter of concrete,” compared to 250–300 kilograms per cubic meters with the conventional process, the company says.