High-Performing Carbon-Negative Concrete Using Low Value Byproducts from Biofuels Production

Default ARPA-E Project Image

Golden, Colorado
Project Term:
09/05/2022 - 10/19/2025

Technology Description:

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and partners will use bio-derived supplementary cementitious materials and concrete additives generated from low-value byproducts created during sustainable aviation fuel production to develop a carbon-negative, thermally insulating concrete. The team proposes that activated carbon, aerogels, and ash produced from biomass processing, as well as supplemental CO2 adsorption to these materials, can replace a large portion of ordinary portland cement in common concrete ready mix. Using this approach, atmospheric CO2 is permanently sequestered in concrete in the form of solid carbon. Durability studies will ensure these materials have a full lifetime. At end of life, this material can be ground and recycled for use as road base or aggregate with no risk of organic matter decomposition and CO2 secondary release.

Potential Impact:

HESTIA projects will facilitate the use of carbon storing materials in building construction to achieve net carbon negativity by optimizing material chemistries and matrices, manufacturing, and whole-building designs in a cost-effective manner.


HESTIA technologies will reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment.


Building materials and designs developed under HESTIA will draw down and store CO2 from the atmosphere.


A variety of promising carbon storing materials are being explored and commercialized for building construction. Currently these materials are generally scarcer, cost more per unit, and/or face performance challenges (e.g., flame resistance for biogenic carbon-containing materials). HESTIA seeks technologies that overcome these barriers while nullifying associated emissions and increasing the total amount of carbon stored in the finished product.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Laurent Pilon
Project Contact:
Michael Griffin
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


University of Colorado, Boulder
Carbon Upcycling Technologies

Related Projects

Release Date: