The CO2Concrete team (formerly Carbon Upcycling UCLA) brings together researchers from UCLA Samueli School of Engineering and experienced professionals in energy and environmental sectors. Professor Gaurav Sant leads the team’s efforts towards the industrial realization of CO₂Concrete, a process for CO₂ utilization by manufacturing a low-carbon concrete-equivalent material. Dr. Gabriel Falzone and Dr. Iman Mehdipour are responsible for technology development, including aspects of CO₂ processing and product performance. Ed Mueller and Stephen Raab provide their expertise in commercialization, economic analysis, strategy, and business development.
The team’s breakthrough technology enables the unprecedented beneficial utilization of CO₂ from flue gases emitted by coal / natural gas power plants and cement plants into CO₂Concrete™. CO₂Concrete building products have a CO₂ footprint that is up to 75 % lower than that of traditional concrete, an industry responsible for nearly 9% of global CO₂ emissions.
The process converts flue gas-borne CO₂ into stable minerals (limestone, a well-known natural cementation agent) within CO₂Concrete components that replace conventional concrete. The patent-pending carbonation process is energy efficient, as it requires neither a carbon capture system nor significant heating/pressurization of the flue gas. The CO₂Concrete solution is designed to be scalable and easily integrated into industrial cycles that provide a ready source of CO₂, e.g., natural gas or coal-fired power plants – without any pre-treatment, or post-treatment. CO₂Concrete’s production is environmentally friendly, producing no harmful byproducts and minimizing waste production and water usage.
The CO₂Concrete solution may be used to manufacture a wide array of building products (e.g., concrete blocks, hollow-core slabs, double-tee sections) that can be readily substituted into conventional construction practice, while achieving equivalent or superior performance. This adaptability and flexibility in process and products make CO₂Concrete a future-proof construction material solution. With a sustainable, low CO₂ footprint process that enables unprecedented design flexibility and automation, the CO₂Concrete technology will transform construction, a traditionally low-tech sector, into an industry of the digital age – while providing a global platform for gigaton-scale CO₂ utilization.
Gaurav Sant is a Professor and Henry Samueli Fellow in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Gaurav is an expert in construction materials and coordinates the research and development of CO₂Concrete from its inception. Gaurav is a prolific author who has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications, and whose work has been supported by federal and state agencies, foundations, and Fortune500 corporations. Gaurav’s work has been recognized by awards from the National Science Foundation, American Concrete Institute, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and International Union of Laboratories and Experts in Construction Materials, Systems and Structures (RILEM). At UCLA, Gaurav is also the Director of the Institute of Carbon Management, which is developing pioneering market-focused technologies to reduce the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Gaurav Sant, Iman Mehdipour, Gabriel Falzone, Stephen Raab, Ed Mueller