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Innovating for a more sustainable future

Entrepreneur’s corner | Oct 28, 2020

For CarbiCrete, a cleantech company based in Lachine, clean energy is more than just a commitment for the future; it’s the driving principle behind every facet of their patented technology that lets concrete manufacturers reduce their carbon footprint by creating cement-free, carbon-negative concrete.   

In just the last few years, CarbiCrete experienced rocket-fueled success as a finalist for the $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, an award funded in part by Google and Suncor that develops “breakthrough technologies to convert CO₂ emissions into usable products”.  

CarbiCrete was also named a 2020 Global Cleantech 100 Company and was called the most sustainable company in the building technology industry by World Finance Magazine.  

Cement production is responsible for up to 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions, says Chris Stern. CarbiCrete’s process for producing cement-free, carbon-negative concrete helps mitigate the effects of climate change by avoiding the emissions that come with cement production and by further capturing carbon dioxide within concrete through our curing process.

Pioneers leading the way 

CarbiCrete’s founders include Mehrdad Mahoutian, who holds a PhD in civil engineering from McGill University, and Chris Stern, an experienced cleantech entrepreneur and the co-founder of Innovobot, a private equity firm that invested in CarbiCrete.  

Together they worked to bring a full-service technology to market that addresses the urgent global need to reduce concrete consumption, the second most used material on earth after water.   

What does cement-free concrete mean for a greener planet? “Cement production is responsible for up to 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions, says Chris Stern. CarbiCrete’s process for producing cement-free, carbon-negative concrete helps mitigate the effects of climate change by avoiding the emissions that come with cement production and by further capturing carbon dioxide within concrete through our curing process.”  

How it’s made!  

To make carbon-negative concrete, CarbiCrete uses a process called carbonation activation to inject CO2 into wet concrete. Then, instead of using cement, the concrete is mixed with ground steel slag, a by-product of steel making that usually ends up in landfills. The end result meets the same specifications as cement-based concrete but is more durable and has lower material costs.   

CarbiCrete’s technology can be implemented in any cement production plant. A plant that switches to this cement-free process can typically expect to sequester or avoid 13,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year, save over 4,000 cubic meters of water and keep nearly 40,000 tonnes of waste out of landfills.  

“Climate change is the single most important long-term challenge that the world is facing now and over the next decades,” says Chris. “There’s a real appetite for this kind of solution, and we look forward to the opportunity to make it available on the market.”  

How PME MTL provided essential support 

PME MTL was hands-on with CarbiCrete early in their development with a two-fold investment that included the provision of finances from PME’s Young Entrepreneur Fund and real estate consultations.  

“PME MTL’s support has been critical in getting our offices and R&D facility opened in Lachine,” Chris explains. “We’ve finally got a place to call home.”  

CarbiCrete will open its new 10,275 square feet industrial space in Lachine in November 2020 where they promise to continue to innovate and develop new products that will have a positive impact on the planet and the built environment around us.   

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CarbiCrete is supported by PME MTL West-Island

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