Knife River eyes carbon accounting, synthetic aggregate with Blue Planet stake

Sources: MDU Resource Group, Bismarck, N.D.; CP staff

Knife River Corp. has invested in California-based Blue Planet Systems Corp., whose process for mineralizing carbon dioxide into synthetic limestone is approaching commercial scale. The companies will work to develop construction-grade rock and ultimately specification concrete bearing a net-zero or net-negative carbon footprint. 

“Bringing Knife River’s aggregate knowledge to our team will help us fully understand how our products will need to perform in the construction world, particularly as a component of concrete,” says Blue Planet Founder and CEO Brent Constantz. “As we scale our technology, we are going to be running our aggregate products through industrial-level crushing, screening, filtering and placement processes, each of which Knife River knows well. [Our] aggregates are created using carbon-sequestration technology, and we will be able to see how they perform at this industrial level. We’ll be able to compare our products to traditional geological materials [and] see the effects of our products in concrete, which can be a highly impactful method of permanent sequestration of carbon dioxide.”

“We’re in the early stages with this technology, but the possibilities are extremely exciting,” adds Knife River CEO David Barney, who has joined the five-member Blue Plant Board. “Concrete is the foundation of the world’s infrastructure. We want to be proactive in finding ways to minimize our carbon footprint while continuing to build the strong roads, bridges, runways and driveways our nation uses every day.”

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