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Cement That Takes CO2 Out of the Air

Calera Corporation aims to stop global warming and ocean acidification by pulling greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere. Essentially, the company is developing a technology capable of converting CO2 into building materials. The company is drawing carbon dioxide from its surroundings during the manufacturing of cement. Normally cement making generates massive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, by some estimates as much as 2.5 billion tons in carbon dioxide per year. But Calera is designing a new type of cement and process that would remove 1 ton of CO2 from the air per ton of cement. One of the company’s goals is to have 100 plants producing up to 1 billion tons of the new cement by 2015. On Calera’s website, Founder Brent Constantz states that: “Calera plants can be co-located and operated at scale with many carbon dioxide sources because the robust nature of the technology allows it to be broadly adapted to specific circumstances, providing large and long-term profitable and sustainable new business.”

Calera Corporation is a privately owned company funded by entrepreneur Vinod Khosla, the founder of Khosla Ventures. It is based in Los Gatos, California.

The company on its website also states: “We understand that some people may have doubts about a technology capable of converting CO2 (a bad thing) into building materials (a good thing). However, Calera’s MAP [Mineralization via Aqueous Precipitation] technology works and we have proven it in our pilot plant, and at our demonstration plant. After reviewing our technology in depth under confidentiality agreements, many independent scientists, researchers and industry experts agree with our conclusion. Also, we have filed over 170 patents around the world with over 3,500 claims and now have patents actually granted, demonstrating novelty. Over time, as more patents are granted and the details become public, the skeptics will learn more and more about what we actually do in our process.”

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