A partnership between carbon negative aggregates specialist O.C.O Technology and Repsol-Petronor has paved the way for the development of the first commercial plant in Europe to manufacture carbon negative aggregates using O.C.O’s expertise and technical capability.

The project, which has received rsFunding from the European Commission’s Innovation Fund, is expected to be completed by mid-2024 and will see the new facility built near Petronor in Spain.

It will use O.C.O’s patented Accelerated Carbonation Technology (ACT) process to treat different types of raw material with waste carbon dioxide gas from Repsol-Petronor’s refineries. This in turn will enable the permanent capture of significant amounts of CO2, producing a truly carbon negative artificial aggregate – known as Manufactured LimeStone (M-LS) – for use in the construction sector.

The team behind the project say the process will see around 22,000 tons of waste treated every year, cutting carbon emissions by an estimated 2,200 tons of CO2 annually.

Stephen Roscoe, Technical Director at O.C.O Technology, says: “Developing this European facility in partnership with Repsol-Petronor is a significant development for O.C.O and one we are very excited about.

“Partnerships of this calibre demonstrate O.C.O’s strength as a market leader in carbon capture technology and show the huge potential that our ACT process has within different industry sectors.  We look forward to working with Repsol-Petronor to deliver the new facility and the associated carbon capture benefits.”

The European Commission’s Innovation Fund programme awards funding to the most innovative projects for the development of low-carbon technologies that are close to pre-commercial scale. Out of more than 230 applications, only 32 projects were successful.

While this latest partnership underlines O.C.O’s credentials on the European stage, the company is already working with Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation on a project to use ACT for the carbonation of slag waste from steel processing plants.

It is part of a wider remit with Mitsubishi Corporation to assess the opportunity for carbonating new waste materials, and comes after the Japanese giant chose O.C.O as one of only four global companies – and the only one in the UK – to join its Green Concrete Consortium, which is focused on ways to transform CO2 into carbon negative concrete and aggregates.