Kelluu Oy, which manufactures miniature autopilot airships to perform many kind of airborne data transfer duties, has received an investment of 100,000 euros from the Start-up Fund Joensuu, which...
Start Up Fund Joensuu invests EUR 100,000 in VTT spin-off company Carbonaide Oy
• Start-up Fund Joensuu
Carbonaide Oy has amassed a total of EUR 1.8 million in seed funding for the commercialisation of the carbon dioxide (CO2) utilisation and storage technology developed by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
Carbonaide is piloting the world’s first industrial-scale production line for carbon-negative concrete, which can help reduce the carbon footprint of the precast concrete industry. The company, which is established in Joensuu, is currently building its first Carbonaide method-based pilot production line at Rakennusbetoni- ja Elementti Oy’s production plant in Hollola, Finland.
- Our goal is to commercialise a technology that can help reduce the CO2 emissions of the world’s most widely used materials. The built environment represents the world’s largest human-made material flow. If we want to protect our climate, we must transform our built environment into a carbon sink, says Tapio Vehmas, CEO of Carbonaide.
The newly founded company’s vision is to launch ten production units in the Nordic countries by 2026. In addition, it aims to bind around 500 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2050, which represents 10–20% of the global market for concrete. As the production of construction materials becomes subject to increasingly stringent legislation, a great need has emerged for technologies that help reduce CO2 emissions. The company’s goal is to revolutionise the global market for precast concrete, which is worth around USD 130 billion annually.
Mineralising CO2 into concrete
Carbonaide's method is based on the mineralisation of CO2 into concrete products. The technology allows CO2 emissions to be halved when compared to the production of conventional concrete products, thanks to the mineralisation of CO2 and the reduced amount of cement needed for the process. Concrete products can achieve a carbon-negative footprint by combining Carbonaide’s technology with low-emission binding agents that can be obtained from industrial side streams, for example. The scientific world is actively developing binding agents that are suitable for the process and that can also help the end-products themselves become carbon negative.
The calculated carbon footprint of concrete produced using the Carbonaide method is -60 kg of CO2 per cubic metre of concrete. The carbon footprint of conventional concrete is approximately 250–300 kg of CO2 per cubic metre. Concrete is one of the largest emitters of CO2 worldwide, and it is responsible for 8% of the world’s CO2 emissions. Most of these emissions are related to cement production: a tonne of conventional Portland cement results in 800–900 kg of CO2 emissions.
Jonne Hirvonen (on the left) and Tapio Vehmas - Carbonaide Oy.
EUR 1.8 million in funding for pilot equipment
With funding from Lakan Betoni, Vantaa Energy, Start Up Fund Joensuu, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Business Finland, Carbonaide will be able to set up its first factory-scale automated pilot production line based on its new technology. After the line is completed this spring, it will be able to mineralise up to 5,000 kg of CO2 daily, reducing the need for cement in the production of concrete. Hollola is also set to play host to an industrial-scale pilot of carbon-negative products using the Carbonaide method. Later, this full-scale production method can be expanded to other manufacturers of concrete products.
- To us, this is a revolutionary technology, as it will change the negative perception people have of concrete as the bogeyman of the construction world. Instead, it will become a building material that promotes the green transition. We believe that there is great demand for this kind of technology globally, which is why Carbonaide has the genuine potential for explosive growth, says Fund Manager & Growth Coach Kari Pulkkinen from Start Up Fund Joensuu.
- We have demonstrated our technology in our pilot production unit and proven that we can reduce the CO2 emissions caused by conventional concrete by 45%. Last autumn, we used slag instead of Portland cement, and the carbon footprint of the resulting concrete was negative: -60 kg of CO2 per cubic metre of concrete. The capacity of our pilot unit was limited, but now, thanks to our investors, we can pilot our production on an industrial scale and demonstrate the functionality of the method as part of the production process, says Tapio Vehmas.
Carbonaide is a Finnish technology company that provides the precast concrete industry with a carbon storage and utilisation technology that enables the production of carbon-negative concrete. Established in 2022, Carbonaide is a spin-off company that commercialises the research conducted at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
For more information, visit www.carbonaide.com
For more information, visit www.carbonaide.com
Carbonaide has been involved in the science-based VTT LaunchPad incubator, which aims to commercialise VTT’s research and technology into spin-off companies. The incubator brings together VTT’s researchers and selection of intellectual property rights (IPR) with top business experts and investors, and supports its teams in developing VTT’s IPR into fundable spin-off companies. Carbonaide’s business operations will be further developed at Business Joensuu’s Business Incubator.
Start Up -Fund Joensuu
Start Up Fund Joensuu helps start-up companies grow, employ and internationalise. The Fund obtains its capital from the City of Joensuu and private investors. The fund is managed by Joensuun Startup Kehitys Oy, a subsidiary of Business Joensuu. The fund's capital is € 2.5 million, and a typical investment is € 50,000–200,000.
Together with Business Joensuu's Business Accelerator and internationalisation services, the Fund supports the domestic and international growth of its target companies. The Fund is an avenue for companies’ second phase funding round. While the Fund is not subject to any field-specific restrictions, its main focus is on companies that specialise in digitalisation, the forest bioeconomy, and materials and innovative technology. Target companies must operate in Joensuu, want to be located in Joensuu or have a connection with the Joensuu region at the operative activity level.
Tapio Vehmas, CEO
tel. +358 40 591 1589, email@example.com
Business Joensuu Oy, Start Up Fund Joensuu
Kari Pulkkinen, Fund Manager & Growth Coach
tel. +358 50 406 8716, firstname.lastname@example.org