TechCrunch: When life gives you carbon, make Carbonaide

Concrete is ubiquitous. A mainstay of the construction industry, over 10 billion cubic meters of concrete is used every year. It’s also responsible for up to 8% of CO2 emissions: one ton of ordinary Portland cement creates somewhere between 800 and 900 kilograms of CO2 emissions. Finnish startup Carbonaide has just raised €1.8 million (~$1.9 million at today’s exchange rate) in seed funding to knock down concrete’s carbon emissions, but not the construction industry.

“Our goal at Carbonaide is to create a more sustainable future with cutting-edge tech that doesn’t just reduce the carbon emissions of construction materials like concrete, but that traps more CO2 than they emit throughout their lifetime,” explains Tapio Vehmas, Carbonaide’s CEO. “It is very natural that the constructed environment becomes a CO2 sink, as it is the largest volume of man-made material.”

Carbonaide’s process binds carbon dioxide into precast concrete using an automated system at atmospheric pressure. By reducing the quantity of required cement content and mineralizing CO2 into the concrete itself, Carbonaide believes it can halve the carbon dioxide emissions of traditional Portland cement concrete. If it can introduce industrial waste products, for example, industry slag, green liquor dregs, and bio-ash into the process, it has the potential to produce concrete with a negative carbon footprint.

The next step for Carbonaide is to scale the technology into a production line at its factory in Hollola, Finland, which is where this seed funding round comes in.

Read more from TechCrunch article by Haje Jan Kamps (28.3.2023)