Éire / Ireland

An innovative Irish tech startup, Silicate, is exploring the use of concrete dust to combat climate change and sequester carbon dioxide. Silicate has developed an "enhanced weathering technology" designed to permanently remove millions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. In its first trial, the company will spread 500 tonnes of crushed waste concrete over 50 hectares of farmland in Chicago. This crushed concrete will initiate "enhanced weathering," an accelerated form of chemical weathering that sequesters CO2 from the air by breaking down rocks into bicarbonate. This bicarbonate is then carried into rivers and the sea.

Silicate's approach repurposes concrete waste from construction sites, pulverizes it, and applies it to farmland at no cost. The company monitors the amount of carbon sequestered and sells carbon removal credits to businesses, enabling them to reduce their carbon footprint. The initial trial is expected to sequester up to 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, potentially locking it into the world's oceans for tens of thousands of years. This environmentally friendly approach not only fights climate change but also enhances soil quality and crop productivity. If successful, Silicate plans to expand the project across Illinois and the American Midwest, with the potential to remove 50-100 million tonnes of CO2 annually, significantly contributing to carbon reduction efforts.

Read more: Can concrete dust help to fight climate change? This Irish startup is trying it out on US farmland | Euronews