Date of release: Friday, April 21, 2017
Carbon8 Systems, a University of Greenwich spin-out company founded by Professor Colin Hills, has received the Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2017.
Professor Hills, director of the university's Centre for Contaminated Land Remediation, founded Carbon8 Systems in 2006 with his research colleague Dr Paula Carey.
The company, which successfully patented its Accelerated Carbon Technology (ACT), is now a world leader in the capture of carbon dioxide using industrial waste and contaminated soils to create carbon-negative building materials.
Professor Hills, of the Faculty of Engineering & Science, says: "It is a great honour for Carbon8 Systems' CO2 mineralisation technology to receive this prestigious award, which is recognised across the world.
"At an early stage, the university identified the potential of our research to lead to a commercially successful waste treatment process. The university is still continuing to support us as we enter our next phase of commercial development."
Carbon8 Systems is planning to make an even greater contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and preserving the environment. Its vision is to create a global portfolio of waste treatment plants combining CO2 with industrial wastes such as cement dusts, steel slags and contaminated soils.
Less waste will go to landfill and the CO2 will be securely locked into new aggregates and construction materials reducing the need to quarry natural resources, such as sands, gravels and stone, for building projects.
Professor Hills' research into CO2 capture and applications has received numerous awards including the IChemE Green Chemical Technology Award, the national Shell Springboard prize, and the Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding contribution to Innovation and Technology.
The Carbon8 Systems team will now receive the Queen's Award for Enterprise from the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, and attend a royal reception hosted by Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace.
Professor Martin Snowden, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Engineering & Science, says: "Our excellent engineering and science facilities are enabling high quality research and the development of new technologies and applications.
"The university is rightly proud of the continuing support it offers researchers keen to patent their findings, develop commercial applications for their work and launch new businesses to take them to market."
Research teams at the University of Greenwich have previously gained four Queen's Anniversary Prizes. Just last year a team from the university's Natural Resources Institute (NRI) received a Queen's Anniversary Prize for its innovative work to develop cassava production – the sub-Saharan staple root crop.
Picture: Professor Colin Hills.