Concrete Anaya Katlego

The concrete manufacturing process is responsible for 8% of global emissions. Credit: Anaya Katlego


Green cement advances with $40m fundraise

Sublime Systems has developed a low-carbon alternative to the most fossil fuel-intensive parts of the cement making process.

The company, spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2020, raised $40m in a Series A funding round led by climate-tech focused fund Lowercarbon Capital.

Other participants include The Engine and Energy Impact Partners, while Siam Cement Group, the largest cement producer in Southeast Asia, has joined as a strategic investor.

Sublime aims to replace the kilns in cement manufacturing – which currently accounts for about 8% of global carbon emissions – with an electrolyser that can produce it at ambient temperature from calcium sources.

The process would avoid both the use of fossil fuels and the release of carbon dioxide from limestone – a first for the industry, according to Sublime.

The company will use the new capital to ramp up production at its pilot plant, build its team, conduct product testing and grow its customer and partner base.

Low embodied carbon

Rather than relying on carbon capture and sequestration to remove carbon from cement production, Sublime seeks to create cement that has both low embodied carbon and low embodied energy.

Leah Ellis, co-founder and CEO of Sublime, said: “Low-carbon cement is critical to build a decarbonised economy. We have successfully demonstrated the viability and scalability of our approach, and we are able to produce cement with the same or better strength, slump and durability than today’s portland cement.”

Clay Dumas, general partner at Lowercarbon Capital, added: “Cement is quite literally the foundation of human civilisation, but making it generates more pollution than any other industry.

“While many teams are chipping away at the problem, Sublime has developed a drop-in solution for traditional cement that’s just as strong, durable and affordable and with zero emissions.”

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