CarbonCure Technologies of Dartmouth, N.S. has attracted more high profile financial investment, this time from a group of global high-tech companies under the banner of Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund. The Canadian company is one of five technology companies to receive the first tranche of what Amazon says is a new $2 billion venture capital initiative.
The other investment recipients announced this month by the Climate Pledge Fund include a technology company that verifies carbon capture in forests; a developer of commercialized technologies to recycle end-of-life lithium batteries into high value metals and chemicals; an EV delivery vehicle manufacturer; and a manufacturer of energy efficient motor systems for use in building infrastructure.
Amazon’s commitment confirms CarbonCure as a recognized leader in global carbon dioxide reduction (CDR).
“The fact that this investment is being led by big tech companies signals a broader change for industries and governments across the board,” CarbonCure said in a media release.
Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund partners include Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV).
BEV had previously announced its own investment in CarbonCure back in June 2019. In addition to Gates, BEV investors include Michael Bloomberg and Sir Richard Branson.
The patented CarbonCure process involves redirecting CO2 headed into the atmosphere and instead embedding it into concrete used for construction. CO2 emissions are collected from local industrial emitters, purified using the company’s technology, and injected into the concrete at the point of manufacture, after which it is transported to local project sites.
The process has a measurable, positive impact on carbon reduction.
During a recent webinar, Ryan Cialdella, vice-president of research at Ozinga, a major U.S. ready mix concrete supplier, presented performance data collected by his company as a result of using CarbonCure’s technology. The data indicated an average Global Warming Potential (GWP) reduction of 6.2 per cent due to CO2 mineralization across a variety of psi specifications.
GWP is a “measure of how much energy the emissions of one ton of greenhouse gas will absorb over a given period of time relative to equal emissions of carbon dioxide,” as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency.
In addition to removing carbon permanently from the atmosphere, CarbonCure’s CO2 compound actually strengthens the concrete mix, reducing the amount of material required to meet a project’s performance specifications. That reduction in turn offsets the bottom-line costs associated with including the CarbonCure product into the concrete manufacturing process, Ozinga executive vice-president Paul Ozinga explained during the same webinar.
CarbonCure has already gained recognition around the world and claims their technology represents 90 per cent of the current permanent carbon dioxide removal market. The company says that to date seven million cubic yards of low embodied carbon concrete have been supplied across its global network of nearly 300 producers.
The Climate Pledge Fund’s commitment is important for CarbonCure, allowing it to further accelerate its product distribution around the world, said company CEO and Co-Founder Robert Niven.
“The latest investment presents a wonderful opportunity for the global concrete industry to capitalize on the increasing demand for sustainable concrete.”
Matt Peterson, director of Amazon’s new initiatives and corporate development, explained the tech giant’s reasoning behind the creation of the $2 billion venture capital fund in a recent Axios interview.
“This all has to do with Amazon meeting its own corporate goals of being zero carbon by 2040. We are asking, ‘What does Amazon need as a company to de-carbonize?’ We are finding companies that produce those products and investing in them that way. The purpose of the Climate Pledge Fund is to put money behind companies building those solutions. It’s not just what we can do today to de-carbonize but what we can do in the future.”
It should not be forgotten, however, that Amazon is a huge, profit-driven company with investments in a variety of technologies.
“We are not doing this as a charity,” said Peterson. “This is meant to be an investment program that returns on investment.”