Carbon8 achieve a world first
Novel waste-treatment process creates construction aggregates while capturing CO2 from landfill gas
A KENT company which uses carbon dioxide (CO2) to treat industrial wastes and contaminated soils has achieved a world first by manufacturing aggregate for the construction industry at the same time as capturing carbon dioxide directly from landfill gas.
Founded by a group academic scientists, Carbon8 Systems Ltd provide solutions for the treatment of industrial wastes and contaminated soils. The five-strong team has created a technology called accelerated carbonation, that can not only capture CO2 generated by the degradation of waste, but also uses waste to absorb CO2 brought in from other sources and which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.
The methane emitted by the decomposing waste is burnt in a specially designed boiler to generate a CO2 rich gas stream that is used to treat ash generated by waste incineration. The ash, after taking on its load of CO2, is then ready for use as an aggregate material for construction or in the manufacture of concrete blocks.
Carbon8 are now planning to license the process overseas with assistance from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).
Carbon8’s managing director, Dr Paula Carey, who has been working on the development of accelerated carbonation for the past 10 years, said: ‘Accelerated carbonation has a significant positive environmental impact in that it prevents a hazardous waste going to landfill, reduces the need for natural aggregate and captures carbon dioxide from the environment, helping to fight global warming.
‘Carbon8’s technique not only renders polluted waste and soils inert, it is also low cost and extremely fast – taking just minutes, rather than the days or sometimes even weeks required by other methods. If widely adopted, these processes could be responsible for capturing more than 1 million tonnes of waste carbon dioxide and contributing to achieving the UK carbon emission reduction target.’
The company has recently licensed the technology for the treatment of incinerator ashes in the UK to a new company Carbon8 Aggregates, which is currently securing funding for its first commercial plant.
Carbon8 Systems are now exploring opportunities in the US and Canada, where they already have patents, and in Europe and Australia.