by MIKE MANGAS, ADAM ROBINSON
REDDING, Calif. — They say it's the first in the world: a cement plant that drastically cuts carbon dioxide emissions is being built just north of Redding.
San Jose-based Fortera decided to built its first plant next to the CalPortland Cement Plant in the Mountain Gate area.
Without getting too technical, the Fortera process re-carbonates calcium oxide, mixing it with cement form CalPortland.
Vice President of Product Development Craig Hargis, PhD, was part of a presentation to the Redding Rotary Club.
"We mineralize CO2 and what that means is we capture CO2 and we make it into a building material. That's what's fundamentally different about our technology versus existing cementing-technologies," Hargis told KRCR. "The great thing about that is that we can cut the CO2 emissions associated with cement production in about two-thirds by doing that…for every one-tone of material that we produce, we're producing two-thirds the pollutants that others might."
When asked why they decided to build in the Northstate, Hargis said it's for very practical reasons.
"We found a really good partner. We are always looking to be located with a cement plant because we want to take their CO2 emissions and mineralize them into our react product lines…it's the collaborative nature of the cement industry, the fact that Redding has a cement plant, currently, and was looking to add capacity to that plant," Hargis said.
Hargis says the finished, more environmentally-friendly product shouldn't be any more expensive than conventional concrete; with the same uses.
"It could, really, be used anywhere existing cement is used," said Hagis. "So, that would include, both residential construction projects, like in the slabs in your home, but also in industrial or commercial projects that require much more cement. It'll be able to be used anywhere you can use something like Portland cement or Portland Limestone cement."
A quick clarification: Portland cement has nothing to do with Oregon, it was actually created, and named, in Portland, England, in the 1700s.
The construction of the Fortera plant should be finished this year. And, Hargis says they should be producing materials in 2024.
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