Cambridge scientists create building materials from CO2 emissions

A process to capture carbon dioxide emissions and turn them into a lightweight, fire- and water-resistant product that can be used in building materials has been developed by scientists at a Cambridge-based company.

Cambridge Carbon Capture has developed CO2LOC, which works via a two-stage mineralisation process and involves the reaction of magnesium hydroxide (MgOH2) with CO2 to produce magnesium carbonate (MgCO3). The magnesium carbonate is filtered and formed into a rock-like substance, which stores the sequestered carbon.

The company said the by-product could be used in a wide range of applications, including in an eco-friendly alternative to concrete fillers, blocks and plasterboard. It also claimed that a cement works could capture CO2 emitted from a cement plant and transform the captured CO2 into a filler for their readymix concrete.

So far, the technology has been proven at laboratory scale and now the company is looking at ways to scale up its operations.

In a statement, the company said: “Experiments at our Cambridge-based lab have proven that our CO2LOC technology can efficiently mineralise carbon. We were able to produce 50 grams of Magnesium Carbonate (MgCO3). Our research has indicated that MgCO3 has promising applications as a fire-retardant building material and using the MgCO3 that we have produced, we are testing this quality.”

Michael Evans, CEO of Cambridge Carbon Capture, told the Cambridge Independent: “Now we’ve proven the technology in the laboratory, we now aim to prove it on an industrial scale, and for that, we need large amounts of investment.

We’re currently in discussions with a range of organisations to establish partnerships for use of the technology and are seeking investment to help us demonstrate our technology in real world applications.”

Image: Michael Evans, CEO of Cambridge Carbon Capture

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