Concrete solutions for our climate

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Technology and innovation are big focus areas for Suncor, but for many of us, our time as an inventor ended with school science fairs. That’s not the case for the finalists of the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, who accepted the challenge of turning carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into usable products. 

After years of testing and development, the winners of the Carbon XPRIZE are – drum roll please – CarbonCure  and Carbon Built. The winning teams, who each take home $7.5 million dollars (USD), have developed technologies connected to the concrete industry and address industrial decarbonization. CarbonCure was part of the natural gas track of the competition, whereas Carbon Built was part of the coal power plant track.

Based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CarbonCure has built a carbon removal technology that adds recycled CO2 into concrete. Their technology not only improves concrete performance but permanently embeds CO2 emissions into the concrete. Their retrofit design can easily be added to existing concrete facilities. CarbonCure tested its technology at the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre (ACCTC) in Calgary.

“As we celebrate Earth Day this week on April 22, the Carbon XPRIZE is a reminder of how addressing a pressing environmental challenge like climate change takes time, money, hard work, and collaboration,” says Suncor’s Chief Sustainability Officer Martha Hall Findlay. “After five years of advancing their technologies, the winners and finalists have proven their innovative ideas can not only reduce carbon emissions but recycle them into everyday products like concrete.”

Suncor is one of the participating COSIA member companies partnering in both the Carbon XPRIZE and the ACCTC. By supporting the Carbon XPRIZE, COSIA member companies are providing yet another example of how energy companies are driving technology and innovation to improve environmental performance. 

“We’re proud that Suncor is one of the COSIA partners that saw the potential in this competition with positive global impact,” adds Martha. 

With the Carbon XPRIZE competition now complete, the ACCTC continues to be a one-of-a-kind test centre for new technologies to capture CO2 for reuse. The ACCTC is expected to become a global hub for innovators working on ground-breaking CO2 conversion technologies.

So, next time your child comes home announcing an upcoming science fair, just think, they could be part of a global competition one day.