TomKat Solutions Awards
Gremix: Sustainable Cement
Concrete is the most widely used artificial material in the world. Unfortunately, cement - the essential ingredient that binds concrete together - is responsible for 8% of global CO2 emissions. With over 90% of cement produced in developing countries, and demand expected to surge due to urbanization, solutions to lower emissions that come with a green premium are likely impractical. In response, Team Gremix aims to develop a cost-effective and scalable solution to reduce cement emissions. To start, the team is focused on sourcing fly-ash, a byproduct of coal combustion, from landfills to replace up to 40% of cement in concrete production.
Working Trees: Land Management Tools to Reduce Tropical Deforestation
Working Trees gets ranchers paid for growing trees on pasture. They provide technical support throughout the design and installation process of planting low-density trees on pasture – a practice called silvopasture, and tracking for carbon payments that assist with financing. Working Trees is able to run carbon projects like this thanks to their proprietary phone-based monitoring technology. By expanding their platform into Brazil, they aim to slow deforestation in the Amazon region. To create silvopasture momentum in Brazil, they will build a local team to recruit and support farmers, provide technical services, and build the necessary connections in the forestry supply chain with the end goal of deploying over 1,000 acres of silvopasture in the coming year.
Oleo: Sustainable Palm Oil
Palm oil is the most widely-used vegetable oil in the world. Its production begins with clearing tropical rainforests. To address this issue the team is working to develop a synthetic palm oil alternative produced from repurposed oil palm waste streams to benefit smallholder farms in Indonesia and keep economic development within the country while also reducing the demand for farmland and the clearing of rainforests.
RockFix: Sequestering Carbon in Mine Tailings
Scalable carbon sequestering solutions will be required to achieve the net zero goals needed to mitigate climate change. The RockFix team aims to develop and implement a technology solution that sequesters CO2 by mineralizing the atmospheric gas onto non-coal mine waste (aka “tailings”).
Methane to Aquaculture Feed
Producing methanotrophic protein from landfill gas is a promising technical solution for directly reducing greenhouse gas emissions in developing economies. The team plans to develop and pilot a system in Bangladesh. Their approach uses low-cost methane feedstock and supports a new industry that would provide employment and tap into local markets. Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a growing demand for animal feed to support its local aquaculture industry.