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Blog Category: Green Technology

Using Green Technology to Turn Carbon Dioxide into Cement (and Jobs)

Calera's process - Mineralization via Aqueous Precipitation

In order to meet President Obama’s goal of out-innovating the world in the clean energy economy, the United States Patent and Trademark Office extended the Green Technology Pilot Program. Through this pilot, the USPTO expedites patent applications for any invention that will strongly contribute to improving environmental quality; the discovery or development of renewable energy sources; better use of existing energy resources, or reduction of greenhouse gases. Since the pilot program began in December 2009, a total of 1,918 petitions have been granted to green technology patent applicants, and 328 patents have been issued.

Under this program, California-based Calera Corporation has been able to fast track twelve applications for converting carbon dioxide (CO2) into green “reactive cements” that replace traditional “portland cement” commonly used in the construction of buildings.

The heart of the Calera process, referred to as Mineralization via Aqueous Precipitation, combines carbon dioxide flue gas from power plants with the Earth’s natural waters and converts the gas into stable solid minerals similar to those found in the skeletons of marine animals and plants including metastable calcium and magnesium carbonate and bicarbonate minerals. These minerals can then be used to produce high reactive cements akin to portland cement without the negative environmental impacts derived from mining and processing. For those interested in more details, the USPTO's website has a more in-depth webpage about Calera and this process.

Commerce Department’s Clean Technology Trade & Investment Mission Moves to Brussels, Belgium

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Brian McGowan (right) meets with U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman at the Ambassador’s residence during the U.S. Cleantech Trade and Investment Mission to Belgium.U.S. community and business delegates participating in the joint U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA)/International Trade Administration (ITA) Clean Technology Trade & Investment Mission moved on to Brussels, Belgium on Thursday after spending three very productive days exploring opportunities to increase exports and attract foreign direct investment in the United States while in Lyon, France at Pollutec, a tradeshow that featured the world's leading international exhibit for the environment and sustainable development markets. 

Upon arriving in Brussels, the delegation participated in a reception hosted by U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman at the Ambassador’s residence.  The event, hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce Brussels (AmCham) and Xerox gave the delegates an opportunity to make important international connections with companies involved in the clean technology sector.

Ambassador Gutman; AmCham President Scot Beardsley; EDA Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Brian McGowan; and Xerox Director of Global Services Phillipe Janssens addressed the delegation during the function.

Commerce’s USPTO Extends Deadline to Participate in Green Technology Pilot Program

Green Technology Pilot ProgramThe United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced today that the deadline for filing petitions under the USPTO’s Green Technology Pilot Program is being extended until Dec. 31, 2011. The program allows for expedited processing of patent applications related to green technology and was originally set to expire on Dec. 8 of this year.  

Since the pilot program began in December 2009, a total of 790 petitions have been granted to green technology patent applicants, and 94 patents have been issued. Program statistics show that applicants who use the program can obtain a patent much more quickly. Currently, the average time between the approval of a green technology petition and the first action on an application is just 49 days, and in several cases, patent applications in the green technology program have been issued within a year of the filing date.

“We’ve seen great results so far for those applications in the Green Technology Pilot Program, so we want to extend it for another year and open the program to additional green inventions,” said David Kappos, under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the USPTO. “By doing so, we hope to help stimulate investment in green technology, bring more green inventions to market, and create jobs.”

Pending green technology related patent applications filed with the USPTO on or after Dec. 8, 2009, will now be eligible for consideration under the program. Petitions seeking expedited processing of new green patent applications may also now be filed simultaneously with the patent application.

More information on the Green Technology Pilot Program.