Cemex to develop carbon-capture project for cement sector
An industrial-scale project is now underway as Cemex Ventures signs an agreement with Carbon Clean, a provider of modular carbon dioxide technology in the United Kingdom.
The deal has been introduced with a goal to plan and develop a solution costing under US$30/ton of CO2 captured.
The partnership will see the development and adaptation of Carbon Clean’s latest modular carbon capture technology, designed for the cement sector.
The system utilises rotating packed beds (RPBs) amongst its integrated modular system which in turn, work together to strengthen the carbon capture process. Thanks to the process, the solution is accessible to more companies as opposed to other capture technologies, which comes with high capital and equipment costs.
A Cemex facility will be the host for testing the technology, with the deployment of an industrial-scale pilot during the start of 2021.
Cemex Ventures’ Head, Gonzalo Galindo, said: “Accomplishing CO2 capture at an industrial scale and affordable cost is one of the biggest challenges that Cemex is facing in its road to deliver net-zero CO2 concrete products globally by 2050.”
“Carbon Clean’s vision of working with players from various industries is something we value in Cemex Ventures. Due to the impact of CO2 emissions on global warming and the importance of implementing new solutions to reduce the environmental impact, we look forward to joining efforts with other companies that are also working towards achieving carbon neutrality.”
Chief Executive Officer of Carbon Clean, Aniruddha Sharma, said: “We are confident that this partnership and the operating experience of Cemex will help us bring down the cost of carbon capture to just US$30/ton of CO2 captured by 2021, which will help accelerate take-up of the technology across the cement industry and beyond.”
Earlier this year, we had a chance to speak to Cemex Ventures’ Head, Gonzalo Galindo, to learn more about how the firm is fostering the construction revolution by engaging with startups, entrepreneurs, universities and other stakeholders in the industry with its Construction Startup Competition. You can read the full digital report and brochure .
SafeAI attracts $21m funding as SmartMix AI tool launches
SafeAI is driving the transformation of the mining and construction industries through connected, autonomous sites. With chronic labour shortages, unsafe working conditions and frequent project delays, these industries are in a unique position to benefit from autonomy.
Unlike on-road applications of the technology, autonomous heavy equipment operates in controlled environments, which means companies can create smarter, safer, more productive project sites today that create meaningful, near-term impact.
“We are at a tipping point for autonomous heavy equipment,” said Bibhrajit Halder, founder and CEO at SafeAI. “We’ve proven that autonomy makes work sites significantly safer and more productive; now, we are on the cusp of mass adoption. Together with our valued partners, customers and investors, we’re poised to deploy autonomy in off-road industries like construction and mining, at scale, to rethink the way heavy industry operates.”
Heavy industry is a large, growing global market, ripe for disruption. The construction equipment market alone is valued at $140 billion, and expected to increase to $175 billion by 2025; construction-related spending accounts for a staggering 13% of global GDP, or $11.5 trillion.
But there remains significant room for growth; in construction alone, higher productivity could create an estimated $1.6 trillion in additional value. With just 25% of the infrastructure needed by 2050 in existence today, autonomy can bridge this productivity gap with greater efficiency and 24/7 operations. SafeAI is at the forefront of this transformation.
“There’s a tremendous amount of excitement in the autonomy space today; but it’s clear the biggest opportunity for this technology is off-road,” said Mark Blackwell, General Partner at Builders VC. “With its industry-leading autonomous software, scalable retrofit approach and partner ecosystem, SafeAI is uniquely poised to capitalize on this opportunity. We’re proud to support the company in its next chapter of growth as demand for autonomous heavy equipment continues to skyrocket.”
New investors LTC, DG Ventures, MACA and Vimson Group, and existing investors Autotech Ventures, Brick and Mortar Ventures, Embark Ventures, Monta Vista Capital and Obayashi Corporation, also participated in the round. The funding comes on the heels of a year of rapid growth for SafeAI, including new partnerships with Obayashi, Goodyear and Macnica, and expansion into Australia’s booming mining market.
A pilot program with Obayashi Corporation last November saw a Caterpillar 725 articulated dump truck autonomously complete a vital on-site function and carry out load-haul-dump cycles.
Giatec debuts SmartMix AI tool
Giatec has debuted what it claims is the world's first concrete AI tool for producers, SmartMix. The web-based AI tool allows producers to optimise concrete ingredient proportions, reduce cement usage, and predict the performance of their mixes while still meeting project specifications.
Giatec believes this tool will lower Greenhouse Gas emissions resulting from concrete production by 400 million tons annually, the equivalent of taking 110 million cars off the road.
SmartMix builds on Giatec's first AI software program Roxi, which has collected millions of data points from the company's SmartRock wireless concrete sensors across 8,000 projects and 80 countries.
Giatec's head of research and development, Andrew Fahim, said the new technologies are going to pave the path forward for the industry to meet increasing infrastructure demands.