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UCLA Team Competes with Concrete Research

Friday, August 9, 2019

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A team from the University of California, Los Angeles, is in the finals for a multi-million-dollar prize for turning carbon emissions from a coal-burning power plant into concrete-based building products.

The Project

Carbon Upcycling UCLA—out of the school’s Samueli School of Engineering—is one of 10 teams in the final round of the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE.

The team plans to turn carbon dioxide from flue gas into pre-fabricated concrete blocks called “CO2Concrete.”

UCLA

A team from the University of California, Los Angeles, is in the finals for a multi-million-dollar prize for turning carbon emissions from a coal-burning power plant into concrete-based building products.

They will operate the system for over 30 days, with the goal of producing up to 10 tons of the product each day. The blocks will then be used in demonstration construction projects.

This demonstration of the research is supported by a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The team is working with Susteon, a sustainable technologies development company in North Carolina, to help transition their system up to an industrial level.

According to UCLA, the team has already demonstrated a prototype system and produced the concrete components and are currently finalizing the design of the equipment for the field test.

“Our vision is that CO2Concrete will be at the center of a much more sustainable and environmentally responsible construction ecosystem,” said team lead Gaurav Sant, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, and materials science and engineering at UCLA Samueli.

“We think we have a revolutionary process and product. Not just because of our carbon utilization technology, which alone is really exciting, but our end product appeals to both energy and building construction companies to enable them to meaningfully reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”

The UCLA team previously received $500,000 from the XPRIZE organization after reaching the finals in 2018, and a $1.5 million gift in 2017 from the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation to support the project.

The competition is slated to complete next year, and two prizes of $7.5 million each will be awarded.

   

Tagged categories: concrete; Education; Good Technical Practice; Green building; NA; North America; Research and development

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