Environmental News, International News

Micro algae’s benefits delivered in concrete

Prometheus Materials

Cement is well-known as one of the world’s widely consumed building materials, but an American company is changing the recipe with underwater ingredients.  

Prometheus Materials, a company with origins from the University of Colorado, has raised significant interest in its zero-carbon concrete product, which is in production.

Zero-carbon concrete is not new as an industry abroad, and Australia seeks to decarbonise operations and cement from its carbon emissions.

Prometheus Materials used microalgae to produce an alternative to traditional Portland cement. The company says the microalgae cement produces little-to-no CO2 and recycles 95 per cent of its water during production.

Alongside the carbon emissions benefits, the bio-cement has proven in recent tests to be incredibly absorptive for sound for noise reduction.

“Our latest ASTM testing results embody our commitment to innovative design,” president, chief executive, and co-founder of Prometheus Materials Loren Burnett said.

“We’ve developed a novel material that provides a zero-carbon alternative to traditional concrete while delivering additional performance benefits and applications. We’re proud to pave the way toward a more technologically advanced and environmentally responsible future for the construction industry.”

With significant investment from the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Prometheus has created an initial pre-cast bio-concrete product line that includes masonry units, segmented modular blocks and acoustic panels, and pavers.

The company still faces barriers to being approved as part of local building codes but is confident that with education, more people will engage with bio-cement.

“They’re doing a $75 million rehab on that building [Hellems Arts & Sciences building], and we will be on the interior walls. They want to put our blocks on interior walls that are highly visible to traffic, with storyboards to tell the story that these blocks are our zero carbon alternative material blocks made out of algae, originally invented at the University of Colorado,” Burnett said.

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