Fellows Project Furno

Furno is working to re-envision the way we make cement. Unlike the large, fixed, capital-intensive plants of today, Furno is leveraging oxyfuel combustion and a novel design to develop plants that are more adaptable and energy-efficient, less capital-intensive, and enable the production of zero-emission ordinary Portland cement.

About the Project

In the world of cement, there are two big challenges: the need to build a projected 12 New York Cities per year for the next 40 years (mostly in developing economies without enough cement supplies); and the need to bring cement emissions to zero. Furno’s cement plant of the future is a small, modular, and more energy-efficient plant that would enable quick and efficient entry and exit from markets and be cost competitive on capital and operational costs. Furno’s innovation is the combination of a novel plant design, which drastically improves heat transfer and reduces size, and an oxyfuel combustion system, which enables the production of a small scale and pure stream of CO₂ to be stored in a geologic formation (without the capture costs) or sold into the merchant market.

Furno diverges from the “bigger-is-better” philosophy that has driven much of the innovation in the industrial sector over the 20th century by leveraging the low-cost, nimble, and adaptable strategy taken by mini-mills in the steel industry to dominate the steel market and adapt it to the cement industry by building smaller, more efficient, and modular cement plants.