Concrete is the most widely used man-made material in the world and its key ingredient, cement, has a significant carbon footprint. It is the source of about eight per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions.

CarbonCure Technologies is setting out to change all that. The Canadian company has developed a technology that can be bolted onto existing concrete plants, locking greenhouse gas emissions into concrete. CarbonCure is on a mission to reduce 500 million tonnes of CO₂ emissions globally per year, the equivalent of taking 100 million cars off the roads.

“Carbon utilization is not just an abstract idea. It’s not just happening in the lab, it’s happening in the real world. We are already building real things that we can live in and drive on every single day—overpasses, roads, buildings, airports, aquariums,” said Rob Niven, Founder and CEO, CarbonCure Technologies.

ERA is investing $5 million into the project in the final phase of its Grand Challenge, allowing CarbonCure to expand its suite of carbon utilization technologies across Alberta’s cement, concrete, and construction industry. They believe they can reduce 530,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year by 2030 in Alberta and save 554 million litres of water annually.

During the Grand Challenge, CarbonCure also secured an investment from Breakthrough Energy Ventures. The billion-dollar fund is backed by Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, and Jack Ma.

“The model being developed in Alberta will serve as a leadership example for other jurisdictions to decarbonize the cement industry while creating new economic opportunities,” said Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, in a letter to CarbonCure.

About the Grand Challenge: Innovative Carbon Uses:
Five years ago, ERA went looking for the world’s most innovative technologies that turn carbon dioxide emissions from a waste stream into valuable products in Alberta.

The initiative was:

  • Launched in 2013
  • Included $35 million in funding
  • Designed as a three-round, competitive process
  • Targeted one net megatonne of GHG reductions annually.

Two successful projects, CarbonCure and Mangrove Water Technologies, emerged from Round 3 and will receive $5 million each to support commercialization in Alberta. Visit the website to learn more.