Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lessons from the Reef: Cement from Thin Air!

Check out Brent Constantz. Inspired by coral calcification, he is the inventor of bone patch materials used by doctors, but this is even better.

His has been thinking about the calcification process and the making of cement (which traditionally requires heating limestone or calcium carbonate to about 2600 degrees Fahrenheit). Both cement plants and power plants burn coal or oil to produce either cement or electricity. In the process, the plants produce lots of hot CO2 gas. What if, you combine those gasses coming out of the smokestack with saltwater rich in calcium? The result - a process that pulls the CO2 emitted from power plants to create - cement. . . The CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and sequestered (stored) basically permanently in a mineral form. Very cool!

See this article in PopSci (, check out his business site Calera, or see a talk he did last year at the University of California at Santa Barbara at Maybe we will be able to innovate our ways to a better world.



Images from UCSB Institute for Energy Efficiency

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