Carbon footprint is something people are getting increasingly worried about these days. The truth is that an average family of four produces more than ten tons of CO2 each year. Together with the carbon dioxide that factories, vehicles, and various industries produce, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has reached a critical degree.
Several methods can help reduce the amount of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere. These methods include the traditional ones such as reforestation and managing farmlands and pollutants released into the air. But some technologies can reduce the amount of Carbon Dioxide that already exists in the atmosphere.
How Can Technology Help Clean the Air?
Carbon capture is the process of trapping carbon that factories and power plants emit and storing it deep underground where it cannot harm the environment or living organisms. In this process, you first have to install filters on factory chimneys and then move the gathered carbon somewhere it can be stored or used in other industries.
ADM is a food and nutrition company that produces and sells flavors for foods and beverages, pet food, supplements, and more. In 2017, ADM started a project to prevent one million tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere each year.
The Carbon capture project by ADM is implemented on the corn processing facility in Illinois, USA. This project was designed and built by the US department of energy and the University of Illinois, which stores the carbon captured by the filtering system in a facility 1.5 miles underground. Currently, ADM is permitted to store 5.5 million tons of carbon under the Earth’s surface.
ADM is one of the best examples of Carbon capture projects in the United States. This company had managed to capture and store another one million tons of carbon in a previous project. Several other startups and companies design and create the technology necessary for Carbon Capture projects.
Shell is one of the world’s primary energy, oil, and natural gas companies with branches in more than 70 countries worldwide. This company has built five of the eight existing Carbon capture and storage facilities around the world. Shell’s projects are located in Canada, Australia, and Norway. The technology used in these projects is designed and created by Shell’s experts, and many more projects are expected to be undertaken soon.
With 60.72 billion dollars revenue in the first quarter of 2021 and a 66.90% increase in sales since last year, Shell had made plans to go completely Carbon zero by 2050. To reach this goal, several CCS projects have been built, and measures have been taken. The stock for Shell is currently traded for $40.80 per share. However, this price is expected to grow by 8% in the next five years.
NRG is one of the United State’s leading electric companies. This company provides electricity and related services to more than 3 million residential, commercial, and industrial facilities. Together with the Japanese company JX Nippon, NRG has created the world’s most significant carbon capture and storage facility. This project started in 2016 and has managed to capture 94% percent of the CO2 emitted from the Petra Nova power plant.
NRG is committed to reducing 50% of its carbon production initially. What’s more, the plan is to reach zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. NRG had 1.99 billion dollars revenue in the first quarter of 2021, which experienced a 15.40% increase since last year. Additionally, the stock for this company is traded for 37.40 dollars per share. The stock for NRG is predicted to increase by 18.90% in the next year.
Mineralization refers to the process in which Carbon Dioxide reacts with rocks rich in Calcium and Magnesium. This reaction creates carbonated rocks that are alkaline in nature and can increase the soil’s fertility. The mineralization process is nature’s way of disposing of excess carbon. However, the natural course of mineralization happens over the years and is a time-consuming process.
Technology can come to humanity’s aid to enhance this process and make it more efficient. Using technology, the rocks can be ‘weathered,’ broken into small pieces, so that the exposed surface of the rock with CO2-rich liquid or gas increases significantly.
The mineralization process can be done in two ways. Firstly, the rocks can be transferred to the carbon capture site, and secondly, the Carbon Dioxide mixed with other gasses or liquid can be exposed to the rocks. One of the significant benefits of carbon mineralization is that the carbon cannot return to nature in any way.
MeduSoil is one the companies that manage the mineralization process in the best way. This company uses mineralized carbon to stabilize the ground on which we build skyscrapers and bridges. The stabilization solutions currently used are made of harmful polluting cement that loses its strength over time.
MeduSoil uses cutting-edge technology to create an environmentally friendly solution out of the mineralized carbon and inject the solution into the Earth. This company has been working on a viable and sustainable solution since 2014. In 2020, MeduSoil received two million dollars in seed funding to further develop its ground stabilization technology.
Carbon Negative Cement
Traditional cement is made of roasted silica stones. This process accounts for about 10% of the total carbon dioxide emission every year. As the global urbanization movement makes its progress through the years, the need for cement and its by-products grows more. Therefore, there needs to be an alternative, a greener alternative, to the way cement is made today.
Several companies throughout the world make carbon-negative cement out of mineralized carbonated stones. These companies are trying to optimize the process of cement making. What’s more, they work towards creating the kind of cement that is not subject to corrosion and even strengthens as it absorbs more carbon from the environment.
One such company, founded by Bill Gates, is Carbon Cure. Carbon Cure uses state-of-the-art technology to inject CO2 into the cement mix. The result has both economic and environmental benefits as less CO2 is consumed. In fact, the mineralization process of carbon is done while the cement mix is being made. Therefore, the mineralized carbon is mixed right into the cement.
You can get the Carbon Cure cement in three different ways: ready mix, precast, and masonry. In the ready-mix form, the cement is ready to be mixed into concrete. The concrete made using this solution is much stronger than regular concrete. It also has a significantly lower carbon footprint. The precast structure of Carbon Cure enables you to focus on your design. And finally, the Carbon Cure masonry allows builders to distinguish themselves and improve their sales by using green masonry.
Solidia offers another innovative solution to produce environmentally friendly cement. Other than using 1.5 gigatons of CO2 every year, this company’s cement and concrete solutions also save 3 trillion liters of water what is traditionally used in the process of cement making.
The patented cement and concrete made by Solidia allows users to save time, money, energy, and water. This concrete is whiter and takes less time to cure. It also is more robust than traditional cement. The process of making the Solidia concrete is capable of saving more than 260 million barrels of oil, as it takes less energy to produce.
Solidia is a privately owned company founded in 2008. This company received 75 million dollars of series BB funding in 2020 to generate revenue. Some of Solidia’s investors are Kleiner Perkins, Bright Capital, BASF, BP, LafargeHolcim, Total Energy Ventures, Bill Joy, and other private investors.