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Manufacturers Trap CO2 in Concrete

By NAM News Room

Carbon dioxide has been removed from the air and “permanently stored” in concrete for the first time, according to E&E News’ ENERGYWIRE (subscription).

What’s going on: Central Concrete, a subsidiary of manufacturer Vulcan Materials Co., along with Heirloom Carbon and CarbonCure Technologies, announced late last week they had successfully sequestered approximately 80 pounds of carbon dioxide as calcium carbonate.

  • The gas was captured from the air with a process using limestone, then injected into recycled water collected from washing out concrete trucks.
  • “The CO2 reacted with the cement in the water and mineralized, and the resulting CO2-treated slurry was used in new concrete mixes at a Central Concrete plant in San Jose, Calif., according to a joint press release from the companies. They say the CO2 will remain trapped in the concrete for centuries.”

Permitting problems: Looking to concrete—the world’s second most-used material—to store carbon dioxide make sense because of its ubiquity. Currently, there is a lack of infrastructure needed to transport and store the gas underground, while the well-permitting process is extremely lengthy. 

  • “Carbon capture and removal advocates say permitting [Class VI] wells, [used to inject carbon dioxide into rock for long-term storage,] takes too long under EPA, which directly issues the permits in all states and territories except for North Dakota and Wyoming.”
  • “EPA acknowledged in an October report that the process could be streamlined and told lawmakers it is updating the application and review process to improve efficiency.”
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