Published: Aug. 25, 2023

The article, "Carbon-Negative Pilot," was published in the August issue of  Concrete International magazine. Authors include Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering researchers Yao Wang, a post doctoral research associate working in Mija Hubler's lab; Associate Professor Mija Hubler;  Associate Professor Wil V. Srubar III; Shane Frazier, a graduate student in the Materials Science and Engineering Program, working in the Living Materials Lab under Srubar;  and Linfei Li, a postdoctoral researcher in Hubler's lab, and others.

Their research explores the possibility of storing carbon in permanent building elements to reduce our carbon footprint.

The project involved research integrating products from two start-ups which spun out of CU Boulder —Prometheus Materials, a company spun out of the CEAE labs of Srubar, Hubler and Sherri Cook; and Jeff Cameron in Biochemistry at the College of Arts and Sciences; and Minus Materials, which uses microalgae to produce CO2-storing biominerals for the cement and concrete industry.

The article discusses testing a system designed to achieve overall carbon negativity. The system comprises a concrete slab supporting a wall constructed using concrete masonry units (CMUs). The concrete slab was made of alkali-activated cement containing algae-derived carbon-storing, biogenic limestone. The CMUs contain biomineralizing microalgae and a proprietary hydrogel binder as cement replacement.