Holcim drives forward start-ups’ innovations

29 April 2021 12:07

Supporting partner

Zug – The cement company Holcim is working with three Swiss start-ups to promote innovation and sustainability in the building sector. They are doing this for instance by using recycled building materials in 3D printers or by trapping CO2 in concrete.

According to a press release, the Zug-based cement giant Holcim is working with three Swiss start-ups. The aim is to drive forward innovative technologies in the building sector and promote sustainability.

For example, in collaboration with Mobbot, a start-up based in Fribourg, Switzerland, integration of recycled construction materials into 3D printing technology will be advanced. Mobbot has developed the 3D printing technology required for this. Together with Holcim, it now hopes to develop a concrete recipe that enables recycled material to be used in 3D printing.

Holcim has also entered into a collaboration with the Bern-based company neustark. The spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) is developing technology that can permanently trap CO2 from the atmosphere in recycled concrete by introducing liquid CO2 into the rubble. Within this collaboration, neustark is investigating the CO2 conversion potential of concrete chunks recycled by Holcim. Holcim in turn is optimizing the concrete manufactured by neustark. Holcim believes neustark’s solution could be integrated into its recycling process in future.

The third collaboration Holcim has agreed is with HeatNeutral, a start-up based in Ticino, which has developed an innovative combustion system that aims to drive forward decarbonization of production plants. According to the information provided, the heating system works particularly efficiently and achieves almost 100-percent combustion of fuels. This means that less fuel is needed for the same performance. Moreover, HeatNeutral’s system can also burn CO2-neutral oils such as plant-based oils, used cooking oil, and biodiesel. Holcim is testing the solution in its concrete factory in Birsfelden, in the canton of Basel-Landschaft.

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