Partanna ($21M to produce carbon-negative cement that captures CO2 from the air)

Partanna (Partanna Global), an American green tech company founded in 2021, develops manganese oxide (MgO)-based cements with low carbon footprint and the capacity to capture carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the atmosphere. The cement blocks produced by Partanna’s technology can absorb CO₂ 100 times faster than regular Portland cement blocks. Each Partanna block generates 14.3 kg of carbon credits. Thus, Partanna is able to generate the most valuable carbon credits on the current market.

Challenges: carbon emissions in cement industry

Carbon emissions in cement industry

Cement is the most widely used substance on Earth. When mixed with water, it forms concrete which is used to construct buildings, roads, dams, and bridges. However, the cement industry is responsible for about 8% of planet-warming carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions, which is significantly more than carbon emissions from global aviation.

Cement production is a major source of CO₂ emissions. This is because the production of cement involves a chemical reaction called calcination, in which limestone (CaCO₃) is heated to over 1400 ºC in a kiln to produce lime (CaO). This process releases CO₂. Additionally, the cement production also requires large amounts of energy to heat the kiln and grind the raw materials into the fine powder that is used to make cement. The energy required for cement production comes mainly from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas, which also releases CO₂ into the atmosphere.

As the kiln process and grinding equipment have become more efficient, the thermal energy and electricity intensities of cement production have gradually decreased over the past few decades. The average CO₂ intensity of cement production has decreased by 18% globally over the past few decades. However, the sector's emissions as a whole have risen significantly, with demand tripling since 1990. The demand for cement is expected to increase as global urbanization and economic development increase the demand for new buildings and infrastructure.

Challenges in reducing carbon emissions from cement production

One of the main challenges in reducing carbon emissions from cement production is the difficulty in cutting emissions from the chemical processes used to make cement and concrete. These processes release CO₂. Although there are measures that can be taken to reduce emissions, such as the use of alternative fuels, improvements in energy efficiency, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, these measures are insufficient to fully address the problem.

Another challenge is the need to reduce cement usage as well as make the process cleaner. One way of doing that is by switching to timber, which is a more sustainable building material. However, this may not be a practical solution in all cases, and more research is needed to find alternative materials that can replace cement and concrete without compromising the quality of the structures they support.

Moreover, the cement industry often operates away from large industrial clusters, which makes it difficult to connect cement plants to the carbon capture and hydrogen infrastructure that will be developed.

Partanna Technology

Partanna has developed low-carbon footprint manganese oxide (MgO)-based cements. The cements do not contain Portland cements. Pratanna MgO-based cements combine with water and produce Portland concrete alternatives that are curable  and provide reliable and sustainable constructions. During the curing process, the generated gypsum reacts with atmospheric CO₂. While regular Portland cement also absorbs atmospheric CO₂, artanna’s cement absorbs more. Each Partanna block can absorb CO₂ 100 times faster than a regular Portland cement block.

Consequently, not only does the Partanna’s cement benefit the environment by avoiding the use of Portland cement and directly reducing the carbon footprint, but the creation of gypsum as a result of the curing process can help further remove CO₂ from the atmosphere.

Partanna cement composition

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