Chrysalix Venture Capital


Cement Decarbonization – CO2 Free Intermediates

The cement industry is responsible for ~8% of global CO2 emissions and is facing significant pressure to decarbonize the production process

This challenge is closed

Submission Deadline

This challenge is closed




Problem Statement

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.


Current Solutions

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.


Pain Point

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

Get Involved

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

 Judging Criteria

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?


Participation Eligibility:

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 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.

Judging Panel:

The determination of the winners will be made by members of the Chrysalix Investment Team and select members of our Limited Partners by invitation.

 Additional Information

  • 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.

Void wherever restricted or prohibited by law.


Challenge Updates

More time to Submit! Deadline Extension to Feb 16, 2024

Feb. 1, 2024, 4:29 a.m. PST by Alfred Lam


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.

Best of luck!

8 Hours Remaining to Submit!

Jan. 31, 2024, 9:07 a.m. PST by Alfred Lam

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!

Three More Days to Go!

Jan. 29, 2024, 4:19 a.m. PST by Alfred Lam

This is your official three-day reminder!

That's right, the Cement Decarbonization Challenge will be closing this coming Wednesday January 31st at 5:00 pm Pacific Time (Los Angeles/USA)

Please be sure to complete your submission form well before the exact cut-off time. 

At exactly 5:00 pm Pacific Time, we can no longer accept new submissions! 

Got questions?

Now is the time to speak up! Comment directly on this update with any questions about the submission process and we'll get back to you right away!

10 Days Left Until the Submission Deadline!

Jan. 21, 2024, 8:13 a.m. PST by Alfred Lam

We are quickly approaching the final days for the Cement Decarbonization Challenge. The deadline is Wednesday January 31st at 5:00pm Pacific Time 

Here are a couple of last-minute tips for a smooth entry process:

1. Begin your submission process several days before the cutoff time. This allows you to ensure everything you have been working on can be seamlessly integrated into the form.

2. Your submission will not be reviewed until you click the orange "Submit Final Entry" button at the top of the final review page. Please remember to do this! 

3. Review the Challenge Guidelines to ensure your submission is complete. Pay particular attention to the judging criteria which will be the scorecard used to evaluate your entry.

4. Have any questions? Head over to the challenge forum and we would love to help you out. 

Thanks so much, and good luck to all!