Meet the ClimAccelerator start-up decarbonising the construction sector via concrete

As the world strives to reach net zero carbon emission goals, the construction industry has a huge role to play in making concrete more sustainable. After water, concrete is the most used substance in the world, accounting for nearly 8 per cent of total carbon dioxide emissions. 

As Dr Michael Wise, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Concrete4Change, explains it: “If concrete was a country, it would be the third-biggest emitter of CO2 in the world.”

Wise and his team successfully completed Stage 1 and 2 of the Circular Cities ClimAccelerator in 2021 and are now on a mission to change the construction industry through disruptive technological innovation. Based in Ireland and the UK, Concrete4Change has developed a carbon sequestration technology capable of storing up to 30 per cent of CO2 in concrete.

The technology incorporates a solid-state carrier which transfers carbon dioxide into concrete through a mineralisation process that strengthens the material. This ensures that there is no leakage of CO2 in the event of demolition. The technology is suitable for all concrete applications and can reduce the production costs of concrete by 70 per cent over time.

By utilising the natural potential of concrete for the permanent storage of CO2, the start-up aims to become the global standard technology for ready-mix and precast concrete production with the goal of permanently removing 2 billion tonnes of CO2 annually by 2040.

Meet the team  

Dr Michael Wise (CTO) is a trained chemical engineer who has several publications on Carbon Capture, Utilisation & Storage (CCUS), having developed conceptual technologies for the oil industry. Over the past decade, he has worked in start-ups, developing technologies ranging from gas transportation optimisation, development strategy and commercialisation. He is also currently a scale-up advisor at Imperial College London.

Dr Sid Pourfalah (CEO) is a chartered engineer of the institution of civil engineers.  He has 21 years of experience in innovative and sustainable design. He has built two successful start-ups managing multidisciplinary, large-scale projects (+£100M) and is an expert in the development and commercialisation of new sustainable products. He is also currently a part time research fellow at the University of Sheffield. 

Dalraj Nijjar (CCO) is a commercialisation and growth-hacking expert with 5 years of experience in early-stage start-up acceleration. He has accelerated the commercialisation of 20 companies in the last three years, primarily focusing on decarbonisation of key industries. Previously, Dal was an e-commerce start-up founder and marketing consultant for high-growth cloud services companies and an analyst at IBM.

Dr. Aisling O’Loghlen (COO) holds a Master of Science in Environmental Management and a doctorate in Urban Studies. She is currently project manager for the EU Horizon 2020 funded project GoGreen Routes, a €10.5M EU-funded project sowing the seeds for increased nature-connectedness across Europe, Latin America and China. Her background as a researcher focused on forced migration in developing contexts, which is often a result of climate change.

Since its establishment in 2021, Concrete4Change has received numerous awards and accolades including United Nations Most Innovative Net-Zero award at COP26 and the UN Sustainable Development Goal award from EU Tech Chamber. Now, the start-up is looking to collaborate with stakeholders involved in its mission of reducing emissions in the construction and concrete industries. 

The start-up hopes to build a consortium of public and private bodies to aid with grant funding and implement industrial trials of its technology. For those interested in accelerating the transition to net-zero emissions in construction, please contact Dalraj Nijjar: