The U.S. start-up Solidia Technologies has signed a partnership agreement with The Linde Group, a gases and engineering company, to industrialize a technology that could reduce the environmental footprint of precast concrete while reducing production costs and improving the performance of building materials. The collaboration will include the development, demonstration and commercialization of Solidia’s CO2-based concrete curing technology.
Linde will work with Solidia to demonstrate the feasibility of commercial-scale production.
“Linde will bring CO2 supply and delivery expertise including engineering of application-specific equipment to contribute to this joint development. This project marks an important step in proving and enhancing our CO2 management capabilities,” says Dr Andreas Opfermann, Head of Clean Energy and Innovation Management at Linde. The two companies will also collaborate to market the technology as a new solution for the pre-cast sector.
Cement production is responsible for three to five percent of total global carbon emissions, and global demand for concrete products is second only to the demand for water. Cement manufacturers have committed to reducing their carbon footprint but are often constrained by their assets and chemistry. By helping develop a means of transforming CO2 into a valuable commodity for one of the world’s largest industries, the collaboration will help speed the market and social impact, re-categorizing CO2 as a catalyst for profitability and growth.
“As collaborators with a global reach and decades of technological and market knowledge, industry leaders such as Linde play a significant role driving innovation to market,” says Solidia President and CEO Tom Schuler. “Linde’s expertise in gas delivery and equipment engineering enables rapid commercialization by freeing us to focus on the development of our core technology. Likewise, our technology gives Linde access to a large, new market that would not exist without Solidia.”
Solidia’s CO2-based concrete curing technology utilizes Solidia Cement manufactured using the novel chemistry developed by Solidia. The patented technology allows lower CO2 emissions in the cement production process and involves the capture of CO2 in precast concrete manufacturing. Overall, CO2 emissions could be reduced by up to 70 percent.
The technology offers manufacturers significant cost savings compared to water-based curing of conventional cement based on faster curing times, lower energy and raw material consumption, reduced waste generation, and reduced labor requirements.
The Cement Sustainability Initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development set 2050 CO2 reduction targets for the global cement industry. If the industry were to adopt Solidia’s technologies today, it would achieve those 2050 goals by 2015.
The Linde collaboration adds to the already robust roster of collaborative testing agreements and third-party research that reinforces Solidia’s technology and product development. These include ongoing research in concrete applications with industry leader Lafarge in pre-cast applications. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration supports Solidia with a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to examine transportation infrastructure applications at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has co-funded a four-year research and development project as part of its CO2 Storage Program. Long-term research continues at Rutgers, the state university of N.J., where the original generation of the technology was developed, and collaborative research efforts are underway in laboratories at Purdue University, Ohio University and the University of South Florida.