Guest Speaker: Will Nguyen, PhD, PE
Senior Engineer, Brimstone Energy, Inc.
On September 12th, the Northern California and Western Nevada Chapter hosted Will Nguyen, who presented a new approach for manufacturing carbon-free cement named The Brimstone Process™.
The Brass Door in San Ramon was the host venue for this interesting presentation, which was attended in person by Chapter members, students from SJSU, and others affiliated with the concrete industry.
Dr. Nguyen’s timely topic was “The Brimstone Process™ - A Breakthrough in Cement Production”. He noted over one-third of the 2,000 largest companies in the world have committed to net zero carbon emissions. Of these companies, 93% would fall short of their climate goals, unless they double their current rate of emission reductions. With cement, existing approaches in decarbonization have significant limitations.
Brimstone’s approach to cement is to 1) develop a process that is carbon-negative across a wide range of energy scenarios, 2) make the same product – ordinary cement, and 3) be cost competitive at scale.
To achieve this, Brimstone is utilizing a different rock, which eliminates the CO2 from limestone. Calcium silicate rocks contain no “embedded” CO2 and are highly abundant. Additionally, by using a different process, carbon-negative by design, the process generates a magnesium residue that positively and permanently removes carbon dioxide from the air. The result is the same material, ASTM C150 OPC and SCM, without the regulatory hurdles, and with the same uses and applications for producing concrete.
Brimstone hopes to go to market within the next five years. At scale, the process will be not just low carbon, but carbon negative from quarry to gate. The OCM will be identical to traditional cement, meeting all relevant construction standards and testing requirements with no regulatory change. The SCM can be used in existing mix designs at a high replacement rate. Finally, Brimstone’s products will be competitive with, or less expensive than, those produced through the traditional process.
After the interesting presentation, Dr. Nguyen addressed questions and engaged with the audience. The Chapter would like to extend its sincere thanks to him for an enjoyable and informative evening.
In a special presentation, Chapter Immediate Past President Ash Wear received a recognition award for his role as President 2022-2023, which was presented by current Chapter President Carolyn Phillips. In addition to the beautiful Atlantis Ellipse crystal and blue commemorative plaque, he also received a Nixon Sentry watch, engraved on the back with the office and dates of service.