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This UK startup cements £2.5M funding to pioneer CO2 mineralisation in concrete

This UK startup cements £2.5M funding to pioneer CO2 mineralisation in concrete
From left to right: Dalraj Nijjar, Dr Michael Wise, Prof. Sid Pourfalah

Sustainability in concrete technology has become a paramount consideration in the construction industry, driven by a growing awareness of environmental impact and a commitment to reducing carbon footprints. European startups working in this niche include Hyperion Robotics, Strong by Form and more. 

Now, Concrete4Change (C4C), a Nottingham-based startup with a mission to address emissions associated with concrete production, recently closed a £2.5 million seed funding round. Led by Zacua Ventures and Counteract, this investment signals a significant stride forward for C4C’s goal to permanently capture and utilise CO2 in the concrete-making process.

With a strength of 12 team members, C4C is looking to add 2 to 3 highly skilled and motivated technical personnel to the team, who can come in and make an immediate impact to help them achieve their technology milestones in the next 12 months.

Dalraj Nijjar sheds light on the driving force behind C4C’s establishment, emphasising the need to address emissions related to concrete. The positive reception from the industry and rapid technological progress motivate C4C to scale up over the next two years for commercial deployment.

Transforming concrete production

Concrete, a globally ubiquitous material, has witnessed limited innovation over the years. C4C was founded with the specific objective of tackling emissions linked to concrete production. The startup seeks to bring about change in an industry that has seen minimal evolution in the environmental aspect of concrete manufacturing.

C4C’s distinctive CO2 mineralisation approach

C4C’s technology takes a unique approach to CO2 mineralization, acting as an additive rather than a traditional binder in concrete. This innovative method not only expedites the approval process due to compliance with admixture standards but also positions C4C as a frontrunner in the quest to decarbonize concrete. 

Challenges and future plans

Navigating the regulatory landscape for concrete is a considerable challenge. However, C4C’s approach, functioning as an additive, simplifies the approval process. In terms of scalability, C4C is actively working to reduce costs and employs readily available waste materials and CO2 as feedstock for its process.

Series A funding and market penetration

C4C’s sights are set on a Series A round in late 2025 or early 2026. The startup positions itself uniquely against competitors, focusing on Europe as its beachhead market. The objective is clear – penetrate 5% of European concrete production by the end of the decade.

Talking about the scalability, the co-founder Dalraj says, “scalability challenges are typically centred on cost and availability of materials and resources in this space. We’re focusing on driving the cost curve down rapidly and using abundantly available waste materials and CO2 as feedstock for our process, which goes a long way to solving the scalability problem”

C4C’s environmental impact: Towards net-zero concrete

The technology developed by C4C has the potential to significantly reduce emissions linked to concrete production. With a 20% reduction in emissions through CO2 mineralization and reduced cement usage, C4C aims for a long-term target of achieving net-zero concrete.

Commenting on the investment, Juan Nieto, General Partner, Zacua Ventures and former investor at Cemex Ventures added: “C4C’s approach has major potential to green up concrete without altering its existing production process, capitalising on the established supply chains. And here’s the kicker – no extra cost for going green, plus it’s already playing nice with regulations…” 

Richard Barker, Partner, Counteract, added, “We really like C4C’s innovative solution for decarbonising cement. The utilisation of a carrier that contains captured CO2 creates a potential drop in solution for a long-standing industry with well-established supply chains. The solution is also complementary with a range of the industry’s other decarbonising pathways currently in development.”

What we think

Concrete4Change’s recent funding round is not just a financial milestone but underscores the industry’s recognition of the need for sustainable concrete solutions. As C4C progresses from lab demonstrations to real-world pilot projects, the potential to transform the concrete industry into a greener, more sustainable force becomes increasingly evident.

C4C’s technology is more than a technological breakthrough; it represents a step towards making concrete a safe and scalable CO2 sink. With visionary investors supporting its mission, C4C is poised to play a pivotal role in the global effort to decarbonize the concrete industry. The journey towards net-zero concrete has commenced, and C4C stands at the forefront, turning an emission problem into an emission solution.

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