Nova Scotia’s CarbonCure Technologies has secured $7.5 million US after nabbing the grand prize at the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition.

The global competition took place in three rounds over 54 months, challenging participants to develop breakthrough technologies to convert carbon dioxide emissions into products – with the ultimate goal of tackling climate change.

CarbonCure, based in Dartmouth, became one of 38 shortlisted contenders in 2015 and completed its final technology demonstration in Alberta last year.

“Climate change can seem like an insurmountable challenge. Team CarbonCure and our fellow Carbon XPRIZE contenders have demonstrated that the challenge is surmountable and that we have the solutions available today to create meaningful change,” says Jennifer Wagner, CarbonCure’s president.

“The prize money will be used to accelerate our path to our mission of reducing 500 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually by 2030.”

Founded in 2012, CarbonCure has developed a process of injecting carbon dioxide into concrete, which strengthens the building material while reducing the amount needed by about five per cent and reduces the environmental impact of using concrete – every tonne of carbon dioxide injected saves about 40 tonnes of emissions.

The company has been attracting growing international attention for its innovation.

Bill Gates’s cleantech fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures first bought into CarbonCure in 2018, and the company has since secured both an investment and a building partnership from Amazon. The company has also attracted financing from both Mitsubishi Corp. and the carbon-reduction advisory firm Carbon Direct.

CarbonCure says the investments represent growing recognition of its technologies to tackle the immense carbon footprint of concrete, the most abundant human-made material in the world after drinking water.

Cement – the key ingredient that gives concrete its strength – is the largest industrial emitter of carbon dioxide, accounting for eight per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.