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Carbon-binding game changer


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“In 2017 we participated in the international building and construction show The Big 5 in Dubai, and there was a huge interest in our game-changing Carbstone technology,” enthuses Peter Van Mierloo, Head of Sales & Business Development at Orbix NV.

Together with research institute VITO, Orbix developed a powder called Carbinox from waste materials from stainless steel production, which binds CO2 with it to create very hard and sturdy bricks and other applications. “We give new value to waste materials and use CO2 that is emitted by industrial companies. This means that products made from Carbinox have a negative CO2 footprint.”

The carbon-binding technology was patented in 2009 and 2016, and a 25 million EUR pilot plant was built in Farciennes in Wallonia to demonstrate it. Orbix is in touch with and looking for partners for the production and marketing of products using Carbinox and its CO2-binding technology, such as roof tiles, paving stones and facade materials.

The first partner was found in De RuwBouw Groep in the Netherlands, which introduced a brick called the Compensatiesteen in 2016. Orbix was founded in 1994 by its two current owners Serge Celis and Danny Vanschoonbeek. They bought slag from a stainless steel producer, and with developer Dirk Van Mechelen, they started developing patented technologies for reclaiming metals from slag and other waste.

Peter Van Mierloo
Architects, research institutes and governments alike crave products that use CO2. Our technology is already developed to be used in the market. Peter Van MierlooHead of Sales & Business Development

“Several other waste materials are left after the extraction of metal, and we make granulates and very fine sand out of those materials,” Mr. Van Mierloo explains. “Our granulates have excellent properties for use in asphalt and concrete, allowing for a better grip on the road than natural products.”

The company processes 300,000 t of slag per year and is investigating other applications of the valorized materials it produces, such as using its powders in 3D printing and plastics. It is interested in finding partners who want to implement and use those materials.

“Orbix is geared towards the new era, valorizing waste materials and contributing to sustainability and circularity,” observes Mr. Van Mierloo. “What we do is so advanced, our very existence is unique.”