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Reducing the Clinker Factor – Part 2

World Cement,

Read part one here.

Collaborators committed to commercialising sustainable solutions

Solidia has purposefully sought partnerships with private sector leaders committed to the commercialisation of sustainable technologies and with public sector organisations capable of validating technologies and accelerating their adoption.

A key innovation partner is Lafarge, a world leader in cement, concrete and building materials technology. “The mandate of the Lafarge Innovation Division is to provide solutions that meet the current and, more importantly, the future needs of both our customers and the end user,” said Lafarge Vice President Precast Concrete, Innovation Division, Peter Quail. “To do this, we invest heavily in R&D and team up with innovative start-up enterprises like Solidia Technologies.” Lafarge joined Solidia in 2013 to industrialise the technology and recently increased its support by signing on as an investor with a seat on its board of directors.

“Lafarge has an ongoing campaign to lower CO2 emissions through, among other variables, the exploration of cements that substitute ground limestone, slag and flyash to reduce the amount of Portland clinker in their blended cement offerings. The Solidia cement clinkering process represents a quantum leap in CO2 reduction well above these blended Portland cements.”

In April 2014, a joint group of Lafarge and Solidia scientists validated the reduced carbon footprint and commercial viability of Solidia cement during a full-scale trial at Lafarge’s Whitehall cement plant in the US. Over 5000 t of Solidia Cement was produced. The two companies are now actively collaborating to market this technology as a sustainable solution for the precast concrete sector. This cement has subsequently been used by a variety of precast concrete manufacturers in North America and Europe. Collaborative testing performed with concrete manufacturers in recent months has demonstrated both the superior quality of Solidia concrete products and their cost competitiveness in applications ranging from blocks to pavers to roof tiles.

Quail added, “As a 35-year veteran in the precast concrete industry, I see the physical characteristics and properties of this material to be a real game changer. Not only will Solidia cement result in an improved product with higher profitability for the precast concrete customer, it also represents a new paradigm with respect to sustainability.”

A critical development along the path to commercialising Solidia’s concrete technology will be delivering CO2 to the concrete curing location and managing it at that location. Solidia has joined forces with The Linde Group, a world-leading supplier of industrial gas and equipment and engineering. The collaboration includes the development, demonstration and commercialisation of Solidia’s carbon dioxide (CO2)-based concrete curing technology. Solidia and Linde are also collaborating on marketing the technology.

Supply of CO2 will be first for in-plant precast and eventually for onsite cast-in-place construction. Linde will bring CO2 supply and delivery expertise, including engineering of application-specific equipment, to contribute to this joint development. With its impressive CO2 supply infrastructure using trucks, railcars and ships for CO2 transport, its experience with CO2 production and its wide range of applications-specific knowledge, Linde is well prepared to support the roll-out of this technology.

“This project with Solidia marks an important step in expanding Linde’s CO2 supply and management capabilities,” said Dr Andreas Opfermann, Head of Clean Energy and Innovation Management at Linde.

As collaborators with a global reach and decades of technological and market knowledge, industry leaders such as Lafarge and Linde play a significant role in driving innovation to market. Linde’s expertise in gas delivery and equipment engineering enables rapid commercialisation by freeing Solidia to focus on the development of the core technology. Likewise, Solidia’s technology gives Linde access to a large, new market for CO2 that would not otherwise exist.

Solidia also recently signed a partnership agreement with CDS Group, the world’s largest supplier of precast concrete curing and drying equipment, to collaborate on the design of systems and components needed to cure concrete with CO2 instead of water. The innovations will include technological upgrades for existing curing chambers and the design and manufacture of new curing chambers to accommodate Solidia’s patented CO2-curing process.

CDS will play a key role in helping Solidia achieve its top R&D priority, which is to make it easy and profitable for concrete manufacturers to adopt its novel technology. Modifying existing chambers will minimise capital investment for Solidia’s customers. Because CDS is marketed worldwide, the company is fully conversant with the regulations that occur in countries across the globe and can provide systems that have technical and regulatory approval.

“Solidia’s technology will extend our commitment to delivering sustainable innovations to the global building materials market,” said Andrew J. Hall, President of US Operations of the UK-based CDS Group.

This is part 2 of a three-part article written by Dr Nicholas DeCristofaro, Solidia Technologies, USA for World Cement’s September issue and abridged for the website. Subscribers can read the full issue by signing in, and can also catch up on-the-go via our new app for Apple and Android. Non-subscribers can access a preview of the September 2015 issue here.

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