ERA Grand Challenge contestant secures patents for CO2-cured concrete technology

Image: Solidia Technologies

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent for the structure of Solidia Technologies' CO2-cured concrete product, advancing the performance and sustainability of materials available to the construction industry as the company expands into reinforced applications.

Solidia holds the exclusive licensing rights to the patent, which is held by Rutgers University, where the original generation of the material was invented.

Solidia was one of four teams awarded up to $3 million each last year in the second round of the Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) Grand Challenge: Innovative Carbon Uses. In 2019 one of the teams will be eligible for up to an additional $10 million in funding to help commercialize their technology in Alberta. ERA is funded by Alberta’s industrial carbon levy.

Solidia was also one of three companies selected in the first round of funding last October by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), an organization of 10 international oil companies tasked with reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Its investment arm OGCI Climate Investments will invest $1 billion in low carbon technologies over 10 years.

Solidia's patent estate includes over 200 patent applications worldwide, with 32 issued and 14 scheduled. U.S. Patent No. 9,868,667, Bonding Element, Bonding Matrix and Composite Material Having the Bonding Element and Method of Manufacturing Thereof, covers the composition of matter of the non-hydraulic concrete.

“The hydrate bonds in conventional concrete can compromise that material’s strength and durability,” Solidia chief technology officer Nicholas DeCristofaro said in a statement. “With CO2-cured concrete, bonding elements based on silica and calcium carbonate create a wide range of attractive properties, including mechanical strength, resistance to freeze-thaw deterioration, and resistance to sulphate attack.”

Solidia’s processes start with an energy-saving, sustainable cement, then cure concrete with CO2, reduce the carbon footprint of cement and concrete up to 70 per cent, and recycle 60 to 80 per cent of the water used in production. Using the same raw materials and existing equipment as traditional concretes, the resulting products are higher performing, cost less to produce and cure in less than 24 hours, the Piscataway, N.J.-based company said.

Currently in commercialization for large- and small-scale applications, the initial technology focus was on unreinforced precast applications, including pavers and blocks. Solidia is now developing processes for reinforced applications, including aerated concrete, railroad ties, architectural panels and hollow core extrusions.