Sources: Solidia Technologies, Piscataway, N.J.; CP staff
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent that will offer the global construction industry what proprietors cite is a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in cement milling, and provide concrete producers sustainable means to structures or slabs that are stronger, cheaper to fabricate and faster to cure than conventional portland cement alternatives.
U.S. Patent No. 9,095,815, “Systems and Methods for Capture and Sequestration of Gases and Compositions Derived Therefrom,” describes a process of creating a solid ceramic form by requisitioning greenhouse gases with a chemical, non-hydraulic bond. When applied to concrete, it drastically reduces reaction time for hardening, because the concrete does not need to cure over a period of weeks.
“We have worked to develop a way to make a very complex technology simple and easy to adopt by providing the construction and building materials industries a real competitive edge, with immediate cost savings, superior performance, and an enhanced sustainability profile,” affirms Solidia Technologies CEO Tom Schuler.
The patent represents the final piece of an intellectual property package developed in 2007 at Rutgers University by Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Richard Riman and Solidia Research & Development Director Vahit Atakan, former Rutgers graduate student and research associate. Solidia Technologies has used and tested the binding and curing processes under license since 2008.
The patented technologies start with Solidia Cement and cure concrete with CO2 instead of water, reducing carbon emissions up to 70 percent compared to portland cement-based methods, while enabling 60-100 percent recycling of water used in production. Solidia Technologies officials cite significant cost savings compared to moist curing of conventional concrete, owing to faster cycles; lower energy and raw material consumption; plus, reduced waste generation and labor requirements.
With an eye to process commercialization in large- and small-scale cement and concrete applications, Solidia Technologies has enlisted as research & development collaborators LafargeHolcim, CDS Group, Linde Group, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Highway Administration, National Energy Technology Laboratory, Rutgers University, Purdue University, Ohio University, and University of South Florida. Collaborative efforts include applied research, materials testing and characterization, manufacturing logistics, general marketing and R&D funding. Late last year, (pre-Holcim merger) Lafarge Group joined investors in a round of funding for Solidia Technologies, led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a key Silicon Valley venture capital firm, plus BASF, BP and Total Energy Ventures.