HomeFinland-StartupsFinnish startup Carbonaide lands €1.8 million to make carbon-negative concrete manufacturing possible

Finnish startup Carbonaide lands €1.8 million to make carbon-negative concrete manufacturing possible

VTT spin-out Carbonaide is on a mission to make manufacturing concrete carbon negative, revolutionizing a billion-dollar industry. The Finnish startup has just secured €1.8 million to scale.

Concrete is an essential part of modern society. Our cities, homes and infrastructure are literally made of it and it’s a material we vitally depend upon. However, it’s also an industry with immense environmental fallout and one in need of a rethink in order to create a more sustainable future.

The concrete industry is responsible for approximately 8% of global CO2 emissions, with most of the emissions originating from cement manufacturing. With legislation increasingly tightening around construction material emissions, industrially feasible technologies to reduce the CO2 emissions of concrete are in demand.

Carbonaide, a spin-out from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, has come up with a solution that leverages CO2 reuse and storage technology. The innovative team has now secured €1.8 million to scale operations.

Tapio Vehmas, CEO of Carbonaide: “Our goal at Carbonaide is to create a more sustainable future with cutting-edge tech that doesn’t just reduce the carbon emissions of construction materials like concrete, but that traps more CO2 than they emit throughout their lifetime. It is very natural that the constructed environment becomes a CO2 sink as it is the largest volume of man-made material.”

The seed funding was led by Lakan Betoni and Vantaa Energy. The round was completed with public loans and in-kind contributions from Business Finland and other Finnish concrete companies and strategic investors.

Juho Hiltunen, CEO of Lakan Betoni Oy, one of the concrete companies that invested in Carbonaide: “As new innovations take ground, the demand for low-carbon products will likely increase. New technologies, such as Carbonaide, provide the means for the industrial-scale production of affordable low-carbon products. We’re happy to support Carbonaide scale up its production and realize the world’s first CO2 curing integration to a fully automated precast concrete production line.”

Carbonaide’s solution is based on an effective carbonation method. This essentially binds carbon dioxide into precast concrete using an automated system at atmospheric pressure. It’s claimed this will half the CO2 emissions of traditional Portland cement concrete by reducing the required cement content and mineralizing CO2 into concrete.

When industrial side streams, such as industry slags, green liquor dregs, and bio-ash, are used in the binding process instead of normal cement, the result is concrete with a negative carbon footprint. In the process, CO2 is permanently stored and removed from the carbon cycle – which is a revolutionary rethink for this hihg-polluting industry.

The Finnish startup is helping create a greener world, by enabling a lucrative industry to become more sustainable. The global precast cement market is worth hundreds of billions of dollars every year and Carbonaide is ready to disrupt it.

With governments introducing taxes, emission trading mechanisms, and renewable energy targets, and consumers willing to pay a premium for low-carbon products, material producers and construction companies have recognized the need to comply with the new market situation, giving Carbonaide a considerable market to tap into.

With this new funding, the company plans to integrate  its CO2 curing technology into an automated production line of its precast concrete factory in Hollola, Finland. With its factory-sized pilot unit and fully operational value chain, Carbonaide can mineralize up to five tons of CO2 per day and increase production by 100-fold of its carbon-negative concrete products.

Matias Siponen, Business Development Manager from Vantaa Energy Ltd: “Avoiding carbon dioxide emissions should always be the primary mechanism to foster biodiversity. However, carbon capture and permanent storage of unavoidable CO2 emissions are needed to enable a sustainable carbon cycle, e.g., in the Waste-to-Energy sector. Carbonaide technology is an excellent example of how to both reduce and utilize existing CO2 in new products and permanently store carbon from the cycle.”

The aim is to open  ten operational units in the Nordics by 2026 and bind approximately 500 megatons of carbon dioxide annually by 2050 – corresponding to 10–20% of the concrete market.

Tapio Vehmas: “We have demonstrated in the pilot unit that our technology is capable of reducing the CO2 emissions of conventional concrete by 45%. Last autumn, we demonstrated lowering our products’ carbon footprint to -60 kg/m3 by replacing Portland cement with slag. Our first pilot unit had limited capacity, so we’re grateful to our investors for the chance to upscale our technology to a factory-sized pilot and demonstrate the technology full-scale.”

Patricia Allen
Patricia Allen
is the Head of Content at EU-Startups. With a background in politics, Patricia has a real passion for how shared ideas across communities and cultures can bring new initiatives and innovations for the future. She spends her time bringing you the latest news and updates of startups across Europe, and curating our social media.

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