Press Releases

Betolar calls for a new low-carbon standard at London’s Concrete Expo

3.5.2023

Betolar calls for a new low-carbon standard at London’s Concrete Expo
 

  • UK government pledges to hit net-zero by 2050 with the building industry playing a huge part in meeting this target
  • Geoprime® by Betolar answers the rapidly growing demand for circular, low-carbon construction materials by replacing cement in concrete manufacturing
  • Geoprime is not a simple binder, it is recipe enabling the innovative use of many side-stream materials to replace cement in concrete - reducing CO2 by up to 80%

Wednesday 3rd May 2023, London, UK: Betolar, the innovative materials technology company, is challenging the current use of cement in construction with its Geoprime solution at London’s Concrete Expo. Betolar’s CEO Riku Kytömäki called for a global performance-based standard to replace the current building requirements that restrict the use of new, low-carbon materials to replace cement in concrete production in his speech at the Expo today.

Current standards state that concrete manufacturers must use a certain percentage of cement to strengthen the finished product. The Geoprime solution converts previously underused industrial side-streams into a cement alternative, however ageing standards rule out the use of products such as this by stating the use of cement only. Alternatives such as Betolar’s Geoprime solution are as effective as cement with up to 80% less CO2 emissions.

It’s time for the construction sector in the UK to transition to a low-carbon future

The cement industry in the UK is worth over £900 m. Globally, there is a need for four billion tonnes of cement per year. Blast furnace slag is a commonly used side stream in concrete production. However, with only ca. three hundred million tonnes of blast furnace slag available there is a huge need for new alternatives.

Betolar’s advanced AI-based material research has analysed over 250 side streams other than slag and fly ash, providing flexibility to process locally available side streams. There are also significant CO2 savings in logistics when manufacturing processes take place near the source of the industrial side streams.

The building sector needs low-carbon solutions now to meet the growing demand from customers and governments that have pledged to get to net zero by 2050. The UK government has put in place multiple incentives in the last few years to reach this goal.

  1. At the end of 2021, the UK government announced the launch of the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which is a £1 billion fund to support the development of low-carbon technologies across various sectors, including construction. The fund supports innovative projects that aim to reduce emissions in the construction industry, such as the use of low-carbon materials and new construction methods.
  2. Several green finance initiatives have been launched recently that aim to support sustainable construction projects - e.g. the Green Finance Institute is working to increase investment in sustainable infrastructure, including green buildings
  3. The UK government has established the Construction Innovation Hub, which is a research and development centre focused on promoting innovation and sustainability in the construction industry. The hub works on a range of initiatives such as digital technologies that optimise the use of circular materials and the development of new sustainable business models.

Riku Kytömäki, CEO of Betolar said “It is time for global concrete industry to step up their sustainability efforts. New material innovation is available. It is cost-effective and helps to meet stricter durability requirements. However, the current regulations across the markets are restricting the use of circular materials allowed in concrete buildings.”

“We respond to this challenge with our Geoprime solution, which can be used to replace cement in the production of concrete with side-stream materials. The solution does not require large investments, but there is regulation to be developed quickly so that new solutions and materials can be used."

For the past six years, Betolar has been utilising its proprietary cloud-based AI platform to analyse and model data from over 250 different industrial side-streams to optimise concrete recipes using Geoprime for performance in strength and viscosity. Betolar's innovative approach ensures that concrete manufacturers licencing the Geoprime solution can offer sustainable concrete production using locally available side streams such as fly ash and slag. Additional materials like clay, natural pozzolans, silica fume, rice husk and bauxite are currently being tested.

About Betolar

Betolar is a Finnish materials technology company enabling sustainable, low-carbon concrete production with Geoprime® solution that converts multiple previously underused, high volume industrial side-streams into a substitute for cement at scale.

Betolar’s groundbreaking, AI optimised innovation can lead to up to 80% less CO2 emissions compared to traditional concrete manufacturing with cement, leveraging the existing manufacturing processes. Betolar’s vision is to empower global infrastructure from low-carbon, smart and circular materials as a standard.

Betolar was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland. Betolar is listed on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market. For more information, visit https://www.betolar.com/

Notes for editors

Cement is a vital source of strength in infrastructure, second only to water as one of the most used substances in the world. It is also a source of emissions, generating c. 7 percent of global CO2 emissions annually.

To produce Portland cement, the most common form, a mixture of crushed limestone and aluminosilicate clay is roasted in a kiln. At high heat, limestone’s calcium carbonate splits into calcium oxide (the desired lime content) and carbon dioxide (the waste). Decarbonizing limestone causes roughly 60 percent of cement’s emissions. The rest result from energy use.

To reduce emissions from the decarbonization process, the crucial strategy is to change the composition of cement. Conventional clinker can be partially or fully substituted for alternative materials that include volcanic ash, certain clays, finely ground limestone, ground bottle glass, and industrial waste products—namely blast furnace slag (from manufacturing iron) and fly ash (from burning coal). These materials leapfrog the most carbon-emitting, energy-intensive step in the cement production process.  

The average global rate of clinker substitution could realistically reach 40 percent and avoid up to 440 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Standards and product scales will be key for realizing the opportunity of alternative cements.

*Source: Project Drawdown https://drawdown.org/solutions/alternative-cement
 

More information

Martta Valkola, Head of Marketing and Communications, martta.valkola@betolar.com, +358 40 547 1981