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Cambridge Electric Cement (CEC), a University of Cambridge spin-out that produces low-carbon recycled cement, has closed a £2.25 million seed funding round, led by Zero Carbon Capital in conjunction with Legal & General, Cambridge Enterprise Ventures, Parkwalk Advisors, Delph25, and Almanac Ventures.

With this investment, CEC will be able to industrialize the production of its sustainable cement at CELSA UK’s EAF facilities in Cardiff as well as offering a real construction demonstrator, advancing agreements as a supplier with different partners and clients.

Concrete is a vital material for our current environment. Every year, we use half a ton of concrete in the world for every person alive on the planet. However, its production is responsible for 7.5% of total carbon emissions. This is why it is a great challenge to decarbonize cement (a component of concrete).

CEC was founded in 2022 with the purpose of commercializing research on low-carbon cement. The academic co-founders were Professor Julian Allwood, Dr Cyrille Dunant and Dr Pippa Horton. CEC’s innovative process co-recycles steel and cement to produce low-carbon circular cement, which offers a circular, scalable, very low-emission alternative to current cement production.

CEC’s cement product targets to replace directly the current Portland cement, offering equivalent performance without the negative environmental impact.

By combining the transformative impact of sustainability with its scalable, low-capex model, CEC’s proposition offers a unique advantage over current technologies. Sustainable cement competitors typically offer partial emissions reduction with lower capital investment requirements, or transformational impact with high capital investment requirements. CEC’s high-impact, low-capex model is unique.

The development to date is based on the industrial demonstrator project ‘Cement 2 Zero’, a consortium involving CEC and its valued industrial partners: AtkinsRéalis, Balfour Beatty, CELSA UK, Day Group, Materials Processing Institute and Tarmac. This £6.5 million initiative is funded by a grant from InnovateUK’s Transforming Foundation Industries. CEC partners continue to provide their experience, knowledge, access to equipment and promotion. Following the successful completion of pilot-scale testing on the Materials Processing Institute’s 7t EAF, industrial-scale testing began in May 2024, using CELSA UK’s 150t EAF. Phil Cartlidge, CELSA project director has supported the trials that have been carried out and expressed his optimism about the upcoming industrial scale trials at CELSA UK’s 1.2 million ton steelworks. With these tests, they will find a way to redesign arc furnace slag using recycled materials, taking advantage of CELSA’s commitment to circularity and sustainability.

About Cambridge Electric Cement

Cambridge Electric Cement is a spin-out from the University of Cambridge founded in 2022 with the purpose of commercializing a sustainable cement concept. The team has developed the world’s first process to make low-carbon recycled cement, processing it through the same electric arc furnaces (EAF) that are used for steel recycling.

About Zero Carbon Capital

Zero Carbon Capital (ZCC) specializes in seed investments for companies developing hard science solutions to the decarbonization challenge. ZCC operates across Europe and supports teams with the ambition and potential to reduce significantly carbon emissions, leveraging a deep commitment to scientific rigor and environmental stewardship. ZCC began investing in the UK with a proof-of-concept fund in 2020, supporting seven early-stage companies focused on decarbonization.

Source: https://www.aggbusiness.com/

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