The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent to Solidia Technologies Inc. (Piscataway, NJ) for a process that uses carbon dioxide (CO2) rather than water to cure pre-cast concrete. Development of the process was funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).
The new concrete process uses the same raw materials and equipment as traditional concrete, but curing time is reduced to less than 24 hours, versus weeks for water-based concrete curing, resulting in considerable costs savings. Solidia estimates the process will reduce the carbon footprint of concrete curing by about 30 percent compared to traditional methods.
Combining the newly-patented curing process with Solidia’s patented CO2-enriched cement process will reduce the CO2 emissions associated with concrete product fabrication by 60 percent while slashing water use by 90 percent, according to Solidia’s analysis. When applied industry wide, the two technologies could potentially reduce CO2 emissions by 1,920 million metric tons per year—the equivalent of removing more than 400 million passenger vehicles from our roads.
NETL is developing novel approaches for reducing CO2 emissions through CO2 use and reuse to augment geologic carbon storage. Capturing CO2 and converting the greenhouse gas to useful products, such as fuels, chemicals, or plastics, can generate substantial benefits. Revenue generated from these products could offset a portion of the CO2 capture cost.