To halt climate change, we need to start capturing the millions of tons of CO2 pouring out of the world’s electricity plants. So far, most of the focus has been on pumping the CO2 back underground, to bind with rocks. But why not just stash it in the cement used to make sidewalks, buildings and roads, mankind’s version of rocks? Calera, a California-based startup says it can capture and stash more than 90% of the CO2 pouring out of a power plant and lock it in cement. The feat address two challenges at once: power plant emissions and cement production. The first problem is well known; CO2 pouring out of cement kilns is less recognized even though it is a huge source of green house gases — the third largest producer in the U.S., says the EPA. Calera mixes the hot CO2-rich flue gas from the power plant with sea water to make calcium carbonate, a key component in cement that is conventionally made at very high temperatures by using oodles (technical term!) of energy. Caldera says cach ton of its cement can sequester an equal mass of CO2. The potential, especially in developing countries which consume the lions share of concrete, are enormous. Check out the full story at Scientific American.
BusinessWeek correspondents John Carey and Mark Scott, cover the green scene, keeping on top of the business aspects of energy, the environment and climate change, as well as the technologies, policies, markets and people that are shaping how the earth's resources will be used in the century ahead.