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8 Mar, 2023
1 min time to read

According to reports, local authorities in the southwestern region of the United States are investing $150,000 in a groundbreaking initiative aimed at "scaling up the process of converting air into concrete."

The funds will be used for the "reference project," a joint venture between two climate technology startups and a masonry firm located in Flagstaff, Arizona.

The project is expected to commence later this year, with the two startups installing their technology in Block-Lite's existing facility. The process involves Aircapture extracting carbon from the air, and CarbonBuilt retrofitting Block-Lite's curing chamber to use the CO2 to cure a lower-carbon recipe for concrete. CarbonBuilt's recipe involves less cement and incorporates industrial waste such as fly ash, which would typically be sent to landfills.

CarbonBuilt explained that it is effectively taking CO2 gas from the atmosphere, converting it into a rock, and storing it permanently. The $150,000 funding comes from the 4 Corners Carbon Coalition, which is made up of four municipalities, including Salt Lake City, Santa Fe, Boulder, and Flagstaff. Rahul Shendure, the CEO of CarbonBuilt, welcomed the funding as a "great first step," but added that the companies involved would also contribute their time and money to the project.

Reducing the environmental impact of concrete production is a vital aspect of decarbonization. According to the International Energy Agency, concrete producers account for approximately 7% of industrial carbon emissions. Block-Lite currently produces masonry products using traditional methods, which emit significant amounts of carbon dioxide during the curing process. However, with the assistance of the $150,000 award, the firm plans to start selling ultra-low carbon blocks to customers in Flagstaff and surrounding areas.