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Queen’s Award for Carbon8 Systems

Dr Paula Carey

Carbon-capture company receives prestigious accolade for its accelerated carbonation technology

CARBON8 Systems, the Kent-based world leaders in the permanent capture of carbon dioxide using industrial waste and contaminated soils, have received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2017.

The company, formed in 2006 and a spin out from the University of Greenwich, has successfully put its patented accelerated carbonization technology (ACT) into commercial operation to create what is said to be the world’s first truly carbon-negative aggregate.

The award will help Carbon8 Systems achieve their vision of creating a global portfolio of waste-treatment plants that make a significant contribution to preserving the environment through the permanent capture of waste carbon dioxide (CO2).

Carbon8 Systems’ ACT technology combines CO2 gas with industrial wastes, such as cement dusts, steel slags, oil shale ash, incinerator ash or paper ash, and contaminated soils, to form new products. They can then be used as carbon-negative construction materials by the building industry, thus protecting natural resources, removing the waste from landfill and promoting sustainable construction.

ACT was developed by Professor Colin Hills, technical director of Carbon8 Systems, and Dr Paula Carey, the company’s managing director, in the School of Engineering and Science at the Medway campus of the University of Greenwich.

Announcing receipt of the award, Dr Paula Carey (pictured) said: ‘The Queen’s Awards are recognized around the world and provide customers with confidence of a company’s commercial and technological edge.

‘Having successfully commercialized ACT for one specific waste stream in the UK, we are now working with some of the largest businesses in the world, including HeidelbergCement, Shell, LafargeHolcim, Saint Gobain and ArcelorMittal, to commercialize ACT throughout Europe, North America and Asia.’

Carbon8 Systems have been at the forefront of promoting carbonation as one of the most effective carbon dioxide utilization (CCU) technologies to help manage carbon dioxide emissions, with contributions to the UN GEO6 report, the Global Carbon Initiative (GCI) report, and several reports to the UK government.

The company is also a founding member of the European Association for Carbon Dioxide Transformation (ASCOT).

In 2010, Carbon8 Systems licensed the technology to Carbon8 Aggregates, who then built the world’s first commercially operational ACT plant at Brandon, in Suffolk, supported by investment from Grundon Waste Management. A second ACT plant opened at Avonmouth, near Bristol, in 2016, and a third plant, in Leeds, has recently been granted planning permission.

Professor Hills added: ‘This is a huge vote of confidence in the technology which mineralizes carbon and gives wastes value, and is a unique example of innovative UK low-carbon technology.

‘Being acknowledged globally for our innovation will now spur us on to translate this into successful international trade deals, and support sustainable construction around the world.’

The Carbon8 Systems team will receive their award from the Lord Lieutenant of Kent and attend a royal reception at Buckingham Palace, hosted by HM The Queen, later this year.

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