Solidia, LafargeHolcim in commercial breakthrough for low-carbon cement

A venture between the Switzerland-headquartered cement giant LafargeHolcim and cement-and-concrete technology start-up Solidia Technologies has had a commercial breakthrough for its patented low-CO2 cement: it will supply that cement to EP Henry, a manufacturer of precast concrete paving slabs in the US.

In development since 2013, Solidia Concrete is produced at lower temperatures and through a different chemical reaction that generates less CO2.

Solidia Cement also hardens by adding CO2 instead of water in a patented curing process that reduces the overall carbon footprint by up to 70% – achieved with a 40% reduction in carbon emissions and a 30% reduction in energy during production.

The company says its concrete is lighter and stronger than normal concrete, and reaches strength in less than 24 hours compared to 28 days for precast concrete made with Portland cement.

Investors in Solidia Technologies include LafargeHolcim, BP, BASF and others.

"LafargeHolcim has long been committed to bringing innovative solutions to market, and this commercial agreement with EP Henry is an important step in showing that reducing our CO2 footprint through carbon captured products is feasible," said Jamie Gentoso, CEO, US Cement, LafargeHolcim. 

"It has been incredibly rewarding to see how together, we have collaborated to move this technology from the experimental phase and into the US market as a viable product."

Solidia President and CEO Tom Schuler said: "By offering their technical expertise and market intelligence, LafargeHolcim helped us eliminate barriers to adoption, leading us to this first commercial traction in the US to expand our range of offerings, making sustainability business as usual across the global US$1 trillion concrete and US$300 billion cement markets."

Solidia Cement was first produced at the Lafarge Whitehall cement plant in Pennsylvania in 2014, and has since expanded production with additional runs at Whitehall and at its Pecs, Hungary plant.

Image: Solidia says its concrete has a 70% smaller carbon footprint (Solidia Technologies)

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