Making Cement The Way Coral Does It: Out Of Thin Air

The creation of cement is an incredibly polluting process, but Stanford scientist Bret Constanz has found a way to mimic the way coral works, by creating cement from CO2 and water.

Biomineralization expert Brent Constantz of Stanford University got inspiration from the way corals build reefs to make a new type of cement for buildings. The process of making this cement actually removes carbon dioxide—a greenhouse gas, thought to cause global warming—from the air. The company Constantz founded, called Calera, has a demonstration plant on California's Monterrey Bay that takes waste CO2 gas from a local power plant and dissolves it into seawater to form carbonate, which mixes with calcium in the seawater and creates a solid. It's how corals form their skeletons, and how Constantz creates cement.[twistage 386ddfed04bba][Image: Flickr user Dawn Endico]

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