HQ: Somerville, MA
Cement is the most abundant man-made material on the planet and, at 8% of global emissions, the cement industry is among the biggest emitters. Avoiding dangerous levels of warming depends in no small part on how quickly we decarbonize cement as the Earth heads toward 10 billion primarily urban-dwelling residents. Yet, solutions to date are marginally impactful, unfeasibly expensive, or both.
How it Works
Sublime is fully electrifying cement production by leveraging cheap renewables and chemical storage to make carbon-free lime. Their electrochemical approach replaces an extremely energy- and heat-intensive production process with one that runs at room temperature. Beyond cement, the process can extract valuable materials from waste streams and even take in used concrete as a feedstock.
Their product is a zero-carbon drop-in alternative that makes no sacrifices in the form, fit, and function of conventional cement. Even without carbon pricing, it can also be produced at competitive unit economics in a cut-throat global commodity market. If you factor in even a meager carbon tax—where many markets are headed—and Sublime’s approach is even more competitive.
Ton of CO2e
avoided per ton of cement produced
LEAH ELLIS CEO & CO-FOUNDER
Leah holds a postdoc from MIT and a PhD from Prof. Jeff Dahn’s lab at Dalhousie University, where she worked in partnerships with 3M and Tesla on improving lithium-ion cell lifetime by optimizing electrolyte chemistry.
YET-MING CHIANG CSO & CO-FOUNDER
Yet-Ming Chiang is a Professor of Materials Sciences and Engineering at MIT, a world-renowned pioneer of electrochemistry and advanced materials, and a serial cleantech entrepreneur having previously co-founded Form Energy, Desktop Metal, 24M Technologies, A123 Systems, and American Superconductor Corp.
35 Innovators Under 35: 2021 Visionaries – Leah EllisMIT Technology Review
Producing cost-effective, zero-carbon cement using renewable electricityThe Engine
Making the Concrete and Steel We Need Doesn’t Have to Bake the PlanetThe New York Times
Cement Companies Are Starting to Get A $33 Trillion Dollar HeadacheBloomberg