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Sika announces funding award for new concrete-recycling technology

| By Mary Bailey

Sika AG (Baar, Switzerland) has announced that its reCO2ver technology is now receiving targeted support as part of a climate protection program. The technology involves a novel concrete recycling process that allows old concrete to be entirely reused while facilitating the sequestration of CO2. To support the use of the technology, Switzerland’s Climate Cent Foundation is guaranteeing the purchase of CO2 certificates from the program for an initial amount of CHF 10 million.

Almost 40% of global CO2 emissions are attributable to the construction and building sector. Around 30 billion tons of concrete are produced each year, with demand continuing to increase. Although cement as a binding agent and concrete as a composite are important construction materials, producing them has an impact on climate change. According to estimates, the cement industry alone is responsible for more than 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. With reCO2ver®, Sika has developed an innovative technology that is unique in the concrete sector and makes it possible to completely recycle concrete demolition waste. reCO2ver® is one of Sika’s many research and development activities focused on advancing the transformation of the construction industry toward greater sustainability.

Sika’s reCO2ver technology not only separates old concrete into the high-quality individual components of gravel, sand, and cement stone; it can also bind additional CO2 through a chemical process. Around 15 kilograms of CO2 per tons of concrete demolition waste can be stored over the long term. On top of this, the performance of the cement stone powder produced during this process is optimized using Sika additives. This allows it to be repurposed as a substitute for cement in concrete production. A pilot facility has been operating in Switzerland since October 2021, and the test phase has now been completed successfully.

In order to be able to document the climate-added-value benefits of the reCO2ver facilities on a standardized basis, Sika is working with South Pole on the development of a climate protection program aligned with the requirements of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). A significant milestone in the implementation and use of this technology for CO2 capture and storage has now been achieved: Switzerland’s Climate Cent Foundation is guaranteeing the purchase of CO2 certificates from the program for an initial amount of CHF 10 million by the end of 2030. The implementation of the industrial facilities is a central pillar of the certified climate protection program. By the end of 2030, the aim is to have stored approximately 17,000 tons of CO2 in concrete demolition waste. This is roughly equivalent to the amount of CO2 emissions produced during the construction of 850 concrete single-family homes.

“Thanks to our innovative strength and sustainable technologies, we enable our customers in the construction and automotive sectors to reduce their ecological footprint. This drives the transformation toward greater sustainability. We are delighted that the reCO2ver technology is being recognized through targeted support, and we are convinced that we are delivering significant added value to the construction industry, the environment, and future generations,” said Philippe Jost, Head Construction Sika