Specialty chemicals company Sika is partnering up with carbon finance consultancy South Pole to create concrete recycling facilities.
The aim of the joint effort is to completely recycle the building material while also permanently storing away the carbon dioxide emissions that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.
The construction industry is considered to be among those hardest to abate as far as tackling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions goes, as well as one of the most emissions-intensive sectors, contributing roughly 40% of global CO2 emissions.
What’s more, as urbanization continues, the demand for concrete is increasing rapidly, and there is an urgent need to develop and deploy effective climate solutions.
One is the approach of Sika and South Pole, which aims to address CO2 emissions by recycling existing concrete with the help of Sika’s trademarked reCO2ver technology.
Thanks to the support from South Pole, Sika’s technology will showcase a nascent carbon capture solution and its ability to deliver meaningful emissions reduction, in accordance with guidelines from the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).
Christian Dannecker, global senior director of climate projects at South Pole, said: “Negative emission technologies are becoming increasingly important tools to achieve global net-zero goals. With this groundbreaking initiative, we are taking another step to scale climate action in the field of technological carbon capture and permanent storage in Europe through climate financing.”
The reCO2ver technology breaks the concrete down into its main components, which are cement, sand, and gravel, and it captures the CO2 that is released in the process.
It captures approximately 15 kilograms (33 lbs) of carbon dioxide per each ton of recycled concrete.
The approach has undergone testing since 2021 at a pilot plant in Switzerland and now, with the help of South Pole, Sika hopes to scale the technology and bring it to wider adoption.