CarbonCure CEO Rob Niven

CarbonCure CEO Rob Niven

Dartmouth-based CarbonCure Technologies is expanding in the San Francisco area as Central Concrete Supply Co. of San Jose has agreed to adopt the company’s technology.

A finalist in the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, CarbonCure has developed technology that lets concrete producers cure their product by injecting it with carbon dioxide. This means the concrete industry – one of the largest industrial emitters of carbon into the atmosphere – can produce a superior product while reducing, not increasing, CO2 emissions.

The deal with Central Concrete Supply – which is owned by publicly listed U.S. Concrete of Euless, Texas – means that CarbonCure now has a strong partner in the greater San Francisco area. That’s important because San Francisco is one of the leading regions in the U.S. for sustainable technologies and the environmental movement.

“San Francisco is one of the C40 cities – those are the cities around the world that have signed on to take additional action against climate change,” Christie Gamble, the CarbonCure Director of Sustainability, said in an interview. “It’s not just at the government level. It’s part of the culture of San Francisco and you really see it in the business community.”

U.S. Concrete has spent the past year testing the CarbonCure technology at its National Research Laboratory in San Jose. Those tests went well enough that Central Concrete has now committed to a first-phase rollout, which includes installing the CarbonCure system in its seven West Bay plants.

NSBI Plots Cohort 2 for Scaleup Hub: Cambridge

Gamble added that CarbonCure’s relationship with Central Concrete evolved beyond a typical supplier-customer connection, so the two companies now work together to promote green construction projects in the area. The Bay Area is home to such corporate giants as Google and Facebook, which have adopted sustainability as part of their business mission. CarbonCure wants to work with Central Concrete to reach out to these companies so their private construction projects will feature green concrete.

Herb Burton, Vice-President and General Manager of U.S. Concrete West Region, said his company is adopting the technology to exhibit “leadership and commitment to reducing the overall carbon footprint without sacrificing performance.”

CarbonCure is already gaining other evangelists in the construction and development community in Northern California.

“We are continuously striving to push the boundaries of sustainability,” Susan McComb, Principal at BAR Architects, said in the statement. “Concrete is an integral component in all of our designs and we are so excited to hear that Central Concrete has adopted the innovative CarbonCure Technology locally.”

CarbonCure’s technology is now used in more than 100 plants in the U.S. and Canada.  Last year, the company, which is headed by CEO Rob Niven, licensed its technology to concrete company Outback Materials. Outback is supplying nearly 500,000 cubic yards of concrete for the first sections of a US$68-billion high speed train between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In April, CarbonCure was named one of 10 finalists for the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE Challenge, meaning it has already received US$500,000 in prize money and could win a further US$7.5 million if it is one of two winners.

The Carbon XPRIZE is a competition that challenges teams to develop breakthrough technologies that convert CO2 into one or more products with the highest net value. The winner will be announced in March 2020.