Cemex invests in carbon utilisation start-up

By Leila Steed21 April 2022

cemex ventures

Cemex Ventures – the corporate venture capital division of Cemex – has invested in a start-up company that specialises in carbon utilisation technologies for the cement industry.

Canada-based Carbon Upcycling Technologies has developed a new way of converting industrial residues, such as fly ash, crushed glass, steel slag and graphite, into usable solid products.

Carbon Upcycling’s proprietary technology infuses carbon into industrial residues via a grinding process. The patented process, called Mechanically Assisted Chemical Exfoliation (MACE), creates more reactive supplementary cementitious materials.

Described as ‘another step’ towards decarbonising its cement production processes, Cemex said the materials produced by the process can be used to replace the clinker in cement production. This would enable it to produce cement and concretes with “CO2 reductions of up to 30%”.

Gonzalo Galindo, Head of Cemex Ventures, said, “Our investment in Carbon Upcycling allows us to leverage the utilization of CO2 in building materials and transform industrial residue into sustainable building material resources.

“Our investment in Carbon Upcycling is another step in our roadmap to decarbonize the cement production process and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.” 

The production of clinker, the main component of cement, is the most carbon-intensive part of the cement manufacturing process. The addition of clinker substitutes without compromising the strength attributes of cement is a critical challenge to the industry’s decarbonization efforts.

Cemex’s investment in Carbon Upcycling Technologies will enable the start-up to continue its developmental work and to scale up the use of the technology, with the aim of reducing the reliance on clinker in cement production.

The construction materials manufacturer, which has worked with the start-up since 2020 as part of its ‘Future in Action’ programme, will also fund the commercial rollout of the carbon utilization solution across cement facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Apoorv Sinha, CEO of Carbon Upcycling, said, “We are well on our way to becoming the most impactful carbon utilization company of this decade, and we are thrilled to have Cemex and other investors on board with us.”

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