The cement industry is responsible for about 8% of global CO2 emissions and is facing significant pressure to decarbonize. The sector is committed to producing net zero concrete by 2050 and is committed to acting now, in order for the needed technology to be ready for global deployment by 2030.
Cement production involves three stages: raw material preparation, clinker production & clinker grinding. Different raw materials are mixed and milled into a homogeneous powder, from which clinker is produced in high-temperature kilns where direct emissions of CO2 occur. Typically, 30‑40% of direct CO2 emissions comes from the combustion of fuels and the remaining 60‑70% comes from the chemical reactions involved in the calcination of limestone to calcium oxide.
It is expected that globally clinker will remain the main ingredient in global cement in 2050 so solutions for decarbonizing clinker production must be found. Therefore we are looking for new pathways to intermediates from raw materials without CO2 emissions.
Ideally, the solution should:
Enable a CO2 free pathway to either CaO or Ca(OH)2 as intermediate materials, from calcium-oxide rich raw materials
Produce clinker (or cementitious binder of equivalent reactivity)
Energy cost no greater than current kiln benchmark (300 KCal/Kg + 40kWh/ton electrical)
Be deployable to existing cement plants as well as new installations
We welcome entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists, students, and anyone eager to contribute, to jump into this challenge and to find a solution. To register for the challenge:
Read the Challenge Guidelines to learn about requirements and rules
Click the “ACCEPT CHALLENGE” button above and enter your passcode to start your entry
Start a conversation in our Forum to ask questions or connect with other innovators
About the Sponsors
Chrysalix Venture Capital - With over 20 years of experience in energy and industrial innovation, we're leading the way to tackle our planet’s most pressing climate challenge and help hard-to-abate industries reach their carbon neutrality targets. We collaborate closely with leading industrial companies to define problems that matter and actively source disruptive solutions to these problems.
Siam Cement Group (SCG) is a leading business conglomerate in the ASEAN region core businesses, namely Cement-Building Materials Business, Chemicals Business and Packaging Business.SCG targets Net Zero GHG emissions by 2050 and reduction of net GHG emissions of scope 1 and 2 by at least 20% by 2030 compared to the base year of 2020 inclusive of its business activities in and outside Thailand
Chrysalix Venture Capital will award up to $250K USD for the winning solution.
The prize money:
Is awarded based on the judges’ evaluation of the best submission
Will be dedicated to funding a 6 to 12 month project to demonstrate a viable business case along with a proof of concept (e.g. technology prototype, techno-economic validation)
Final amount will be determined based on the technology readiness and business readiness level of the solution
Successful, start-up worthy solutions that achieve the 6-12 month project milestones will have the opportunity for additional follow-on equity funding of $1M+ from the Chrysalix Carbon Neutrality Fund.
How Do I Win
To be eligible for an award, your proposal must be submitted by January 31, 2024 at 5 pm PST and at a minimum:
Be scored higher than your competitors
Accurately and thoughtfully address the submission form questions (include only non-confidential information and data)
Satisfy the judging criteria and any follow-up questions
Semi-finalists may be invited to present to the judging panel in person
Timeline of the process can be found on the Timeline Tab
In scope solutions will:
Be able to produce clinker from CO2 free intermediates (e.g., CaO or Ca(OH)2)
Reduce the footprint of the facility, compared to the conventional process
Out of scope solutions:
Pathways to intermediates that produce CO2 from the chemical reaction
Pathways requiring carbon capture, storage or utilization
Additionally, submissions that meet the minimum eligibility criteria will be evaluated with the following questions in mind:
Innovative - is it fundamentally different?
Valuable - does it generate substantial value beyond just cost savings?
Feasible - Is there a strategy to prove the concept efficiently and cost-effectively?
The challenge is open to all adult individuals, private teams, public teams, and collegiate teams. Submissions must be made in English. All challenge-related communication will be in English. No specific qualifications or expertise in the field is required.
To be eligible to compete, you must comply with all the terms of the challenge as defined in the Challenge-Specific Agreement.
Registration and Submissions:
Submissions must be made online only, via upload to the HeroX.com website, on or before 5pm PST on January 31, 2024. All uploads must be in PDF format. No late submissions will be accepted.
Intellectual Property Rights:
Will be according to the respective Academic Partners’ policy or defined at contracting upon awarding the prize. The sponsors will not have default rights to the Intellectual Property.
Selection of Winners:
Based on the winning criteria, prizes will be awarded per the Judging Criteria section above. In the case of a tie, the winner(s) will be selected based on the highest votes from the Judges.
In the case of no winner, Chrysalix Venture Capital reserves the right to withhold the Prize amount.
The determination of the winners will be made by members of the Chrysalix Investment Team and select members of our Limited Partners by invitation.
By participating in the challenge, each competitor agrees to submit only their original idea. Any indication of "copying" amongst competitors is grounds for disqualification.
All applications will go through a process of due diligence; any application found to be misrepresentative, plagiarized, or sharing an idea that is not their own will be automatically disqualified.
All ineligible applicants will be automatically removed from the competition with no recourse or reimbursement.
No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win the competition.
With so many people just finding out about the challenge now, we are giving you extra time to complete your entry! You now have until Feb 16 at 5pm Pacific Time to get your entry in! Check out the timeline for full details.
You can still update your submission if you would like to do so. Simply return to your entry and click the "Return to editing" button.
If you're still assembling your submission, you have exactly 8 hours left to complete it!
Here's a Tip: HeroX recommends innovators plan to submit with at least a 3-hour window of time before the true deadline. Last-minute technical problems and unforeseen roadblocks have been the cause of many headaches. Don't let that be you!