With its various cement, Materrup decarbonizes the development sector | EUROtoday

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HAS Cement manufacturing alone generates 7% of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide, in line with the World Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA). It is subsequently pressing to deal with the decarbonization of this business, as evidenced by the “transition contracts” signed between cement producers and the federal government, and the sector's commitments to scale back its CO emissions by 45%.2 from 2030 and 50% by 2032 in comparison with 2015.

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If the massive teams – notably LafargeHolcim, Calcia and Eqiom – proceed to largely dominate the market, they should innovate to scale back the footprint of the tens of millions of tonnes of cement they produce… And stay aggressive within the face of the arrival of latest gamers who make “low carbon cement” their trademark.

“Do better with less”

This is the case of Materrup, a Landes start-up created in 2018 and winner of the 2024 inventors checklist of the Point. “Cement is a mixture of limestone and clay fired at high temperature, at 1,450°C, between 12 and 17 hours in a rotary kiln,” recollects Mathieu Neuville, physician in physics and co-founder of the corporate. The kilns are powered by fuels and the manufacture of cement causes a chemical response which releases loads of CO2making this course of a serious emitter of greenhouse gases.

Faced with this statement, the scientist sought an answer to “do better with less”. “Our technology is based on uncalcined clay, that is to say “raw”, an especially ample materials accessible all through the planet,” explains Mathieu Neuville. There are not any ovens in our factories, which solely use electrical vitality, eliminating using fossil fuels… This approach halves the carbon footprint and the vitality embedded in a ton of cement. »

Another benefit, this extra ecological various to cement, “the second most manufactured product in the world”, because the founding father of Materrup recollects, is a part of a round strategy. “The raw clay used comes directly from industrial waste or excavated soil, in a short circuit. We are therefore transforming the problem of clay waste into low-carbon cement. »

A high-performance and competitive cement

But is this new material as efficient as conventional cement? Mathieu Neuville assures us: their product is certified by the Scientific and Technical Building Center (CSTB), the French reference organization. “With this material, we meet 80% of the uses of the concrete market, since it has the same mechanical properties, the same durability and the same uses as conventional concrete. » And at the same price.

An accomplishment for this former research engineer who worked for giants like LafargeHolcim and Total. “There, I developed skills to produce high-performance construction materials, with controlled quality, respecting product standards, regardless of the source of incoming raw material. But we weren't yet talking about low-carbon materials, remembers the physics doctor. The climate emergency forced me to do better, differently and without delay. In 2014, I decided to leave the comfort of large groups and became interested in clay, an abundant and economical mineral on earth. I was convinced that by combining technique, work and sense we could do great things. »

Ten years later, Materrup’s success proves him right. The start-up has just announced that it has raised 26 million euros from funds such as Eurazeo and the European EIC Fund. The goal ? Open ten factories in France and Europe, in partnership with manufacturers who have waste to process or low-carbon cement needs, to “produce cement from waste in a short circuit and create resilient and local economic loops”. These factories can produce between 60,000 and 180,000 tonnes of cement per 12 months, provides the entrepreneur. With concrete ambition, he concludes: “Today, there’s not sufficient quantity in the marketplace to transform French manufacturing. We should speed up to efficiently meet this problem. »