Paris-based Lafarge Group has advanced commercialization of a magnesium oxide-based powder—billed as a carbon dioxide emissions-reducing alternative to portland cement–through the Green Cement Bond
Sources: Novacem Ltd., London; CP staff
By Don Marsh
Paris-based Lafarge Group has advanced commercialization of a magnesium oxide-based powder, billed as a carbon dioxide emissions-reducing alternative to portland cement, through the Green Cement Bond. The $1.6 million facility, whose subscribers are likewise poised for a sponsor-planned Series A Funding round, will help seed a 25,000-ton/year demonstration mill co-located at an existing cement operation.
“We have always known we would need to work closely with the cement industry to tackle the carbon emissions problems [it] faces, says Novacem Chairman Stuart Evans, and couldn’t have hoped for a better first cement industry partner than Lafarge.” Green Cement Bond subscribers, he adds, will assist in demonstration mill development; have early access to product for testing, certification, pilot construction applications and initial sales; and, have opportunity to build the first commercial volume magnesium oxide powder plant under Novacem Ltd. license.
A venture capital-backed start-up of London’s Imperial College, Novacem is refining processes to convert commonplace magnesium silicate compounds such as talc, serpentine and olivene to a magnesium oxide powder whose binding and engineering properties match calcium-heavy portland cement. Novacem powder can be derived with lower carbon dioxide emissions than those of portland cement milling; in finished concrete, it reportedly exhibits the potential to absorb atmospheric CO2. In April, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Review recognized Novacem among 2010 Top Ten Emerging Technologies.