Knife River to Explore Synthetic Aggregates

Knife River Corp. is investing in Blue Planet Systems Corp. to pursue a commercial means of creating and marketing synthetic limestone. The limestone would be produced using sequestered carbon dioxide.

With Blue Planet’s proprietary technology and Knife River providing expertise in construction aggregates, the companies are working together to develop construction-grade rock and ultimately, concrete that would have a net-zero or net-negative carbon footprint – while maintaining the strength for which concrete is known. 

Concrete is one of the most widely used building materials on earth. By capturing CO2 from existing sources to create synthetic limestone, concrete can be produced while preventing that CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Additionally, using synthetic limestone would prolong the life of natural aggregate sources.

David C. Barney, president and CEO of Knife River, has joined the five-member board of directors at Blue Planet. “We’re in the early stages with this technology, but the possibilities are extremely exciting,” Barney said. “Concrete is the foundation of the world’s infrastructure. We want to be proactive in finding ways to minimize our carbon footprint while continuing to build the strong roads, bridges, runways and driveways our nation uses every day.”

“Bringing Knife River’s aggregate knowledge to our team will help us fully understand how our products will need to perform in the construction world, particularly as a component of concrete,” Blue Planet Founder and CEO Brent Constantz said. “As we scale our technology, we are going to be running our aggregate products through industrial-level crushing, screening, filtering and placement processes, each of which Knife River knows well. Blue Planet’s aggregates are created using carbon-sequestration technology, and we will be able to see how they perform at this industrial level. We’ll be able to compare our products to traditional geological materials. And we’ll be able to see the effects of our products in concrete, which can be a highly impactful method of permanent sequestration of carbon dioxide.”

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