A key player in technology-targeted venture capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) has led a third or Series C Round of funding for New Jersey-based Solidia Technologies, whose integrated cement and concrete production and curing processes lower net carbon dioxide emissions when measured against portland cement alternatives. KPCB, Bright Capital, BASF and BP have recommitted to the business in the current round, and are joined by Lafarge Group and another French entity, Total Energy Ventures; and, Sun Microsystems cofounder Bill Joy, who has served on the Solidia board as a KPCB partner.
“As investors, what we look for are big markets where big impact is needed, and where there is the potential for tremendous societal benefit. Solidia offers all that,” says Solidia Board Chairman and KPCB Partner Jan van Dokkum. “With the mix of venture investors committed to sustainable solutions, technology leaders and global industry players, we have built the infrastructure needed to support the commercialization of Solidia’s technology.”
The company’s patented methods start with Solidia Cement and cure concrete with CO2 instead of water, reducing carbon emissions up to 70 percent over conventional methods, while recycling 60–100 percent of the water used in production. Made from the same raw materials and equipment as ASTM C 150 Type I powder, Solidia Cement is adaptable to a wide variety of formulations and milling methods, offering producers the world over a sustainable and performance-enhancing alternative binder.
A company white paper describes the binder as “a non-hydraulic cement composed primarily of low-lime containing calcium silicate phases” and compares its calcium, silica and aluminum profile with that of portland cement. Solidia Cement feeds a production process offering producers significant cost savings compared to water-based curing of conventional concrete, company engineers note, citing faster curing times, lower energy and raw material consumption, reduced waste generation, and reduced labor requirements.
Lafarge Group’s participation in the funding round follows the producer’s collaboration with Solidia on cement production and concrete applications, as well as commercialization of the technology. Additional collaborators include The Linde Group, a global leader in the international gases market, which has extended its CO2 supply and delivery expertise to technology development and commercialization.
The Federal Highway Administration supports Solidia with a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to examine transportation infrastructure applications at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, while the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory has co-funded a four-year research and development project as part of its CO2 Storage Program. Long-term research continues at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where the original generation of the technology was developed. Solidia has licensed numerous patents from Rutgers. Collaborative research efforts are also underway in laboratories at Purdue University, Ohio University, and University of South Florida. The strength and durability of Solidia Concrete has been verified according to ASTM and AASHTO standard or specifications by the CTLGroup.