SOTERIA - Carbon Negative Bioconcrete Unit Production Concept

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Durham, North Carolina
Project Term:
11/09/2022 - 11/08/2024

Critical Need:

HESTIA addresses the need for implementing carbon removal strategies by converting buildings into carbon storage structures. HESTIA is also important for nullifying embodied emissions. The majority of these emissions are concentrated at the start of a building’s lifetime and locked in before the building is ever used. This upfront emissions spike equals 10 years of operational emissions in a building constructed to meet standard code, but increases to 35 years for more advanced, higher operating efficiency buildings, and more than 50 years for high-efficiency buildings operating on a lower carbon intensity grid. These time horizons go beyond 2050 climate targets, which means embodied emission reduction strategies are a high priority.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

Biomason will develop a carbon negative cementitious materials production process that may replace most product classes now served by carbon-intensive traditional cement. Traditional cement (the binder element in concrete) requires carbon-intensive, fossil fuel kilning (1,400°C) of limestone, leading to carbon emissions from the high temperature and CO2 burned off the limestone. Biocementation, or microbial induced calcite precipitation, is a viable technology for manufacturing concrete materials with significantly reduced energy, carbon, and logistical footprints. Biomason’s retooling of bioconcrete production processes and material combinations will (1) eliminate synthetic urea as biocement carbon source, (2) incorporate carbon-loaded, biomass, and/or recycled base aggregate materials, and (3) tune biocement speciation for enhanced carbon inclusion.

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. Marina Sofos
Project Contact:
Mr. Kent Smith
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:

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