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Turning industrial surplus materials into low carbon construction materials

Betolar’s solution turns different side streams from the energy, mining, steel and forestry industry into low carbon, geopolymer-based construction materials. These materials perform the same as concrete in terms of qualities such as strength but leave a carbon footprint that is up to 90 per cent smaller.
Photo: Sitra



The construction industry is among the most polluting sectors, creating over 20% of the global CO2 emissions. The energy used in the industry comes mostly from burning fossil fuels and the industry relies heavily on virgin raw materials. Another major problem in the construction industry is the cement used in concrete. About 5 to 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are generated by cement production – more than any country other than China or the US.

Solution: turning industrial surplus materials into replacement products for concrete

Betolar’s technology allows turning side streams from the forestry, mining, steel and energy industries into environmentally friendly geopolymer-based construction materials. These materials have a carbon footprint that is up to 90 per cent smaller than conventional cement-based concrete. Betolar also enables a way to utilize the rapidly growing waste deposits and accelerates the transition towards sustainable construction and a circular economy.

Betolar’s revenue logic and benefits

The revenue logic is built upon licensing agreements. The licensed solution is the formula and manufacturing technology for the construction materials developed by Betolar, as well as the Betolar brand to be displayed when selling the products. The optimisation system for material mixes using advanced analytics makes it easier to manage changes in the raw material composition during the production process.

Benefits to customers and end users

The solution enables industrial companies to use their side streams and thus save money on the gate fees paid upon receipt of waste shipments and to reduce their environmental footprint. For construction-sector companies, on the other hand, the solution offers an opportunity to make use of a cost-efficient, carbon-neutral building material that is as durable as cement-based concrete. Since the raw material costs are low, business activities may even be more profitable than they would if conventional methods were used.


Betolar in a nutshell

Main business: Construction technology

Year of foundation: 2016 (innovation process began in 2013)

Net sales: Less than €1 million

Launch of circular economy solution: 2018

Share of the circular economy solution of the total business: around 90%

Employees: 1-10

Based: Kannonkoski, Jyväskylä



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The most interesting companies in the circular economy is a list compiled by Sitra to showcase Finland’s most inspiring examples of the circular economy. Sitra is using the list as a way to challenge Finnish companies to meet the changing needs of the world.



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