These Montreal entrepreneurs say they've found a more eco-friendly way to make concrete

A Montreal company is offering up a more environmentally-friendly way to make concrete.

Mehrdad Mahoutian, founder and Chief Technology Officer of Carbicrete said his company’s product will have a positive impact on the planet. Carbicrete is concrete made without cement, the ingredient that acts as a glue.

“You have aggregates and somehow you have to bind aggregates together and that’s the job of cement,” said Mahoutian.

Carbicrete’s CEO, Chris Stern, noted that cement is harmful to the environment.

“Eight per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions are due to the manufacturing of cement worldwide,” he said. “Two tons of concrete are made every year for every human being walking the planet today.”

The team started developing carbicrete at McGill University in 2012. They discovered they could replace cement with steel slag, a by-product of steel production which normally ends up in a landfill. The slag is ground into a fine powder and mixed with carbon dioxide.

The entrepreneurs said their product is more durable, cold resistant and stronger than traditional concrete.

The process also uses less water overall and takes less time to produce. While traditional concrete takes up to 28 days in a curing chamber, their product requires only five or six hours.

The company is building a pilot plant in Drummondville to mass produce carbicrete.

“We’ve actually secured some funding from the world’s largest supplier of steel slag as well as a local private equity firm named Innovobot,” said Stern.

The pair said they hope their product will reduce a manufacturer’s carbon footprint while costing 10 to 20 per cent less.

“Our product is cheaper, stronger and has a positive impact on the environment,” said Mahoutian.