Rutgers startup Queens Carbon has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) to receive funding as part of the latest Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy technologies with Untapped Potential (SCALEUP) program, which “supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to advance critical research and development helping to propel America’s energy innovation leadership on the global stage.”

Queens Carbon is based on an innovation developed at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and founded by Daniel Kopp, who received his BS, Masters, and PhD from Rutgers, along with School of Engineering Distinguished Professor Richard Riman and entrepreneur David Gersholowitz. According to Kopp, the company’s method can achieve decarbonization of cement production through a proprietary catalyst based on a hydrothermal technology that allows for a reduction in the heat required to produce cement, which decreases CO2 emission.

The company’s patented cement manufacturing process was invented by Kopp and Riman as part of Kopp’s PhD thesis while working in Riman’s lab. Rutgers Office for Research handled the filing and prosecution of the patent applications and executed the exclusive license between the university and the company for this technology.

The Rutgers startup will receive $14.5M to develop an “on-site pilot facility capable of producing carbon-neutral supplemental cementious materials using industry standard raw materials to support decarbonized cement production.” It is one of four projects that combined will receive $63.5M as part of the 2024 SCALEUP cohort.

“This SCALEUP grant is a tremendous step forward on our path to commercialization,” said Kopp, according to the company’s press release. “Partnering with ARPA-E and a major cement industry player to deploy, operate, and optimize our 10 tonnes per day pilot plant will put us on an accelerated path to gigatonne-scale CO2 reductions.”

“Queens Carbon’s technology has the potential to impact climate change in a significant and positive way by making the cement production process carbon neutral,” said Deborah Perez Fernandez, PhD, MBA, Executive Director of Technology Transfer, and Vince Smeraglia, JD, Executive Director of New Ventures. “The Technology Transfer and New Ventures teams are proud to have supported Drs. Kopp and Riman through the development of their technology and launch of their company.”

According to the DOE’s press release, the SCALEUP program provides new funding to previous ARPA-E awardees that have successfully de-risked their technology and established a viable route to commercial deployment.

Learn more about Queens Carbon here.