The 4 Corners Carbon Coalition, a U.S. network of local communities that work together on carbon removal projects, has awarded $150,000 for the development of a world-first fully-integrated direct air capture (DAC)-to-concrete manufacturing site.
The facility will be developed by CarbonBuilt, an ultra-low CO2 concrete technology developer, modular DAC developer Aircapture, and concrete products manufacturer Block-Lite. The process is estimated to decrease the embodied carbon of the resulting concrete blocks by over 70% in comparison to traditional concrete.
CarbonBuilt will install its patented technology, which won the XPRIZE, on-site at Block-Lite. CarbonBuilt’s technology reduces the use of cement in concrete products by replacing it with a mix of low-cost and low-carbon industrial waste materials sourced locally. It then uses carbon dioxide to harden the mix into concrete blocks.
Aircapture’s modular DAC technology supplies commercial and industrial customers with clean carbon captured from the atmosphere onsite. The company will build several DAC units, each with the capacity to capture around 100 metric tons of carbon annually. The carbon dioxide will be routed into CarbonBuilt’s gas processing system before it is used in the concrete blocks.
The CarbonBuilt and Aircapture technologies will be installed at the Block-Lite manufacturing site in the city of Flagstaff, Arizona.
The project is expected to avoid 2,000-3,000 tons of carbon emissions and remove over 500 tons of atmospheric carbon annually per production line.
“Large-scale, durable carbon utilization can play a critical role in driving down the cost of DAC and accelerating atmospheric carbon removal,” said Rahul Shendure, CEO of CarbonBuilt. “The concrete industry’s scale and global reach uniquely position it as an enabling partner to the DAC industry. We intend for this project to become a blueprint that can be replicated at many of the thousands of concrete manufacturing plants around the world.”