We may not have flying cars yet, but there is technology out there that can create concrete aggregate out of thin air, literally.
Chevron didn't say how much, but announced it has made a Series C investment in Blue Planet, a startup in California focused on reducing the carbon impact of industrial operations, including building materials.
Don't believe it? Watch this video to learn more about Blue Planet and its work on concrete aggregate:
Blue Planet uses Direct Air Capture (DAC) technologies to concentrate and remove greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air. The company then creates a chemical reaction to convert the CO2 into limestone, which is a building block of concrete. Blue Planet then sells the aggregate to be used in concrete mixes, which has been used on a number of projects, including the San Francisco International Airport interim boarding area B.
Investing in Carbon Capture
Chevron's investment signals yet another major corporation taking a full step forward in committing to the reduction of carbon in the construction process.
“Carbon capture, utilization, and storage, or CCUS, is viewed to be essential to advancing progress toward the global net zero ambition of the Paris Agreement,” says Barbara Burger, vice president of innovation and president of Technology Ventures at Chevron. “This investment is made through our Future Energy Fund, which focuses on startups with lower-carbon technologies that can scale commercially, and we welcome Blue Planet to this portfolio."
Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV) is an arm of Chevron that pursues externally-developed technologies and new business solutions to ultimately reduce energy use and provide cleaner energy.
“Chevron is a leader in scouting and identifying innovative and game-changing approaches to lower-carbon intensity,” says Brent Constantz, founder, CEO, and chief scientist at Blue Planet. “The investment may also provide future opportunities to incorporate Blue Planet’s approach into Chevron’s projects.”
The Skinny on Blue Planet
Blue Planet creates carbonate-based building aggregate made from flue gas-captured CO2. Distinct from some other industrial carbon capture and utilization technologies, Blue Planet’s process does not require CO2 purification and enrichment prior to use which can reduce cost and unit energy consumed during capture. Founded in 2013, Blue Planet’s technology potentially enables permanent capture of CO2 in building materials at scale, converting CO2 to a lower-carbon product for sale in the growing global market of aggregates.
Blue Planet's solution involves converting CO2 into limestone to be used in concrete, and replace the rock mined in open-pit quarries, which is one of the greatest contributors to CO2 in the atmosphere, according to Brent Constantz, Blue Planet's CEO.
In connection with its investment, Chevron and Blue Planet also executed a letter of intent to collaborate on potential pilot projects and commercial development in key geographies, with the goal of jointly advancing lower-carbon opportunities, according to a press release.