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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Solidia Technologies, a firm with tech that absorbs CO2 in the concrete curing process, has raised another $78 million from some heavy-hitting VC players.

Why it matters: The funding is the latest sign of interest — and optimism — around various types of carbon removal technologies.

In addition to curing concrete with CO2 instead of water, New Jersey-based Solidia also uses a lower emissions cement manufacturing process.

Driving the news: The financing round is led by Imperative Ventures and Zero Carbon Partners, and new investors include Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

  • Existing backers providing new funds include BP, John Doerr and OGCI Climate Investments, which is the VC arm of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, a consortium of multinational oil giants.
  • Solidia also named Bryan Kalbfleisch, a building materials industry veteran, as CEO.

The big picture: Cement production is a very large and high emissions industrial sector, accounting for an estimated 7% of global CO2.

  • That helps explain the interest in cutting those emissions and opportunities for absorbing CO2 in the production process.
  • CarbonCure, another firm that embeds CO2 in concrete, has backers including Amazon and Microsoft.

Go deeper

The case for climate change realism

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It’s getting harder and harder to communicate the two essential realities of human-caused climate change: that our failure to slow and eventually stop it is contributing to devastating human suffering all over the world, and that it’s not too late to act.

The big picture: Experts have long told climate communicators —including scientists, journalists and politicians — that disaster porn immobilizes people, leaving them cowering in a corner. You've got to give them a sense of hope, the research shows.

Updated 1 hour ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Updated 3 hours ago - Technology

Mayors see cryptocurrency as a way to address income inequality

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting in D.C. this week, there's buzz around the idea of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Why it matters: Cities have been experimenting with newfangled ways to address income inequality — like guaranteed income programs — and the latest wave of trials could involve paying benefits or dividends in bitcoin, stablecoin or other digital currencies.