Terra CO2 clinker-free OPUS Zero binder enters field concrete trials

Graded-feedstock reactor (foreground) and heat exchange assemblies in the Terra CO2’s proposed OPUS agent production scheme.

Colorado-based Terra CO2 Technology Holdings Inc. has begun testing concrete mix designs bearing OPUS Zero, a binder finished free of portland cement clinker and produced with globally abundant, silicate-rich feedstocks. Material trials scheduled throughout 2024 involve specimen batching, pumping and engineering property testing, along with demonstration slab and vertical surface or structure placements. Early results indicate OPUS Zero meets or exceeds existing specifications for concrete strength development. The binder leverages proprietary polymer chemistry and reagent, plus processing methods for a premier Terra CO2 offering, OPUS Supplementary Cementitious Material, tested for up to 40 percent portland cement replacement.

Terra CO2 is ramping up commercial OPUS SCM production through licensing agreements enabling construction of charter 240,000-tons-per-year capacity plants in Texas and Colorado. Reactors at the heart of the OPUS SCM process support output of OPUS Zero, whose composition has one-fifth of the calcium equivalent of portland cement. High temperature phases isolating limestone feeds’ calcium represent about 40 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions associated with portland cement clinker production.

“OPUS Zero represents a pivotal moment in our journey towards sustainable cement and concrete,” says Terra CO2 Founder and Chief Scientific Officer D.J. Lake. “Of the very few non-carbon-capture solutions to decarbonizing cement, with none proven at scale, OPUS Zero stands above the rest for being inherently cost-efficient, practical, and scalable for the industry. It does not require opening new mines and aims to seamlessly fold into the current industry landscape.”

“By launching full-scale trials of OPUS Zero, we’re setting new benchmarks for environmental responsibility and material performance in construction,” adds CEO Bill Yearsley. “Our alternative to legacy cement has been in development since day one at Terra, and we are excited to begin full concrete trials as a final step toward commercial readiness. The trials mark a significant milestone in our mission to build a sustainable future for all.”