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Neustark launches largest site for storing CO₂ in demolition concrete

  • To achieve net zero by 2050, next to substantially reducing emissions, CO₂ also needs to be removed from the atmosphere.
  • Neustark has developed and deployed a negative emissions technology that is already removing CO₂ from the atmosphere today.
  • It is the first company worldwide to have brought carbon removal via mineralization in demolition concrete to commercial practice and deployed a network of storage sites.
  • The largest site to date in Biberist, Switzerland is now in operation, making it nine storage sites that neustark currently operates, with further under construction.

With the large-scale CO₂ storage site in Biberist, Switzerland now fully in operation, neustark has to date deployed nine such sites across Switzerland together with its partners. The Swiss climate-tech founded in 2019 as a spin-off of the ETH Zurich has gone from first tests to prototype to a network of capture and storage sites in the last three years. The first stationary site storing CO₂ in demolition concrete went into operation less than one year ago. Since then, eight further sites have been constructed, all of which are already removing tons of CO₂ every day.

The latest site to be launched is the largest to date – it has a capacity to remove around 1'000 tons of CO₂ every year. Two innovative Swiss demolition waste recycling and concrete producing companies, Alluvia AG and Vigier Beton, joined forces with neustark to plan this project, and now operate the plant. It was built on a large demolition site (paper factory in Solothurn, Switzerland) to allow for direct access to the demolished concrete.

How neustark removes CO₂ – permanently

“To achieve our net zero goals across the globe by 2050, it is critical that we reduce emissions as much as possible and the rest needs to be removed. Thanks to our mineralization technology and capture-to-storage value chain, neustark is a pioneer in permanent carbon removal. We are already removing tons of CO₂ from the atmosphere today, and even more tomorrow,” says Valentin Gutknecht, founder and co-CEO at neustark.

With over 1 billion tons per year, demolition concrete is the world's single largest waste stream. Neustark has created a technology and value chain that turns this waste stream into a ‘sink’ absorbing hard-to-abate emissions from the atmosphere.

How it does that? By capturing CO₂ from biogas plants and transporting it to nearby storage sites, where the CO₂ is injected into demolition concrete granules during their recycling process. Neustark’s technology triggers a mineralization process, turning the CO₂ into limestone and thus binding it to the granules’ pores and surface. The CO₂ is stored permanently in the demolition concrete, and thus removed from the atmosphere.

The company works with biogas plants to source its CO₂, construction recyclers to store the CO₂, and companies with ambitious climate strategies that acquire its effective CDR (carbon dioxide removal). The concrete granules injected with the CO₂ can then be used, as per usual, by the recyclers to build streets or produce fresh recycled concrete.

Scaling up for more impact

Johannes Tiefenthaler, founder and co-CEO of neustark affirms, “Neustark is the first company to have shown in practice that permanent CO₂ storage via mineralization in demolished concrete is both commercially and ecologically viable. With our nine storage sites already up-and-running across Switzerland and further ones currently under construction, we are generating crucial negative emissions every day.”

In its first months of operation, neustark has already removed more than 300 tons of CO₂ permanently. In the booming field of nascent negative emission technologies, delivering carbon removal impact today – and even more tomorrow – is a major achievement. To put this into perspective: Neustark stores around 10kg of CO₂ per ton of demolished concrete. One site can do in one hour what 50 trees do in one year.

The company is currently scaling up rapidly across Europe on its ambitious journey of removing one million tons of CO₂ in 2030, and beyond that. Various point-capture and storage sites are currently under construction in Germany, Austria and France, and further partnerships agreements have been signed. Among neustark’s CDR clients are UBS, Microsoft and Verdane.

The newest storage site in Biberist, Switzerland will be inaugurated at an event hosted by neustark, Alluvia and Vigier on 5 July 2023.

Media contacts

Elmar Vatter

Elmar Vatter

Project Lead Marketing & Communications

Sophie Dres

Sophie Dres

Chief Marketing Officer

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