We are alcemy, a Berlin-based startup focused on machine learning for the cement- and concrete supply chain. alcemy was founded in October 2018 by Rob, who built the ML behind FlixBus dynamic ticket fares, and Leo, a concrete engineer, who knows cement inside out as his family has been making it for almost hundred years by now. We are backed by some of the most prestigious VC funds in Europe (La Famiglia, First Minute Capital, and LocalGlobe) and want to further grow our exceptional team. Here you will find a good overview of what, why, and how we do things.
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👩🏻💻🧑🏾💻 Betontechnologe / Baustoffprüfer (m/w/d)
2,500 tons of CO2 leave a typical cement plant each day. In total, cement is responsible for 4x the CO2 of the aviation industry. [CleanTechnica]
The world’s building stock is expected to double by 2060 — the equivalent of adding another New York City monthly between now and then. [Bill Gates]
Concrete is vital for humankind's prosperity, it is the foundation of modern life. Concrete is used everywhere, for building homes for billions of people or for indispensable infrastructure like roads, bridges, and tunnels. In fact, [the only thing humankind consumes more of, by volume, is water](https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/09/portland-cement-changed-the-way-the-world-looked/380140/#:~:text=The only thing that humans,of global carbon dioxide emissions.). However, concrete, and specifically its most important ingredient cement, is responsible for about 8% of worldwide carbon emissions.
Cement's immense impact on global warming is one of the biggest challenges humankind faces. For example, this (👇) 2017 report from UN's environmental program concisely discusses the intricacies and challenges of reducing the industry's carbon footprint. In addition, Leo has written a short article summarizing our strategy to help reduce CO2 emissions (👇).
UN Environmental Program (2017): 800m tons CO2 can be saved annually "if the importance of good concrete mix design and quality control is understood" (p. 32)
The graphic in the center of our Leo's piece on potential ways to tacke cement's CO2 problem and which way alcemy takes.
Historically, concrete recipes are designed to be excessively robust. They allow high margins of error in the production process. For example, this robustness compensates changes in moisture of materials like sand and travel times to construction sites. In order to do so the concrete's cement must consist mostly of burnt limestone, also called clinker, whose production is responsible for the high CO2 emissions. One way of lowering the CO2 emissions is to replace some of the clinker with other less carbon intensive materials. However, this reduces the allowed margins of error in concrete recipes and the production process — this is why green concrete has not happened yet.
We want to change this! We want to enable concrete mixes with a much lower CO2 footprint: We build predictive production control software for every player in the cement and concrete supply chain. Consequently, producers can make the most efficient use of their resources.
We will be the world's first company that makes -60% CO2 concrete at scale, by replacing half of the clinker with CO2-free filler material. Thereby, we can save 1 gigaton of carbon emissions worldwide. [That is the equivalent of the carbon emissions of the entire aviation industry!](https://www.atag.org/facts-figures.html#:~:text=The global aviation industry produces,carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.&text=Aviation is responsible for 12,to 74% from road transport.&text=Globally%2C the average occupancy of,than other forms of transport.)
See Leo explain alcemy
Our cement software is live (👇), steering multiple cement mills that consume more energy than a 100,000 inhabitant city. Of course, we enable saving on grinding costs and energy. Moreover, we are already helping to reduce the plant's carbon emissions at scale (👇 ).
How alcemy steers production of our 1st customer
Mithilfe von KI können Beton und Zement klimafreundlicher werden
How alcemy already reduces CO2 emissions