Sublime Systems Says Its Low Carbon Process Validated by LCA

Sublime Systems said a screening life cycle assessment (LCA) conducted by Climate Earth validates its electrified process, which can eliminate more than 90% of the global warming potential (GWP) of cement manufacturing, when compared to ordinary portland cement.

Sublime Systems is advancing a fully electrified process for its namesake binder without requiring the use of fossil fuels or limestone. Its carbon-avoidance approach harnesses clean, renewable sources of electricity and a wide range of calcium materials to produce the same final hardened phase in concrete that the global construction industry requires.  

Climate Earth calculated a Sublime Cement GWP of 72 kg CO2eq/mt, a stark contrast to the 922 kg CO2eq/mt GWP indicated in the current environmental product declaration for portland cement. That 2021 document reflects data the Portland Cement Association collected from 56 U.S. plants.

Sublime Cement (left) and portland cement. Photo: Nathan Eisenberg

“As our company developed this breakthrough process, we were mindful that the construction industry wouldn’t respond well to shining white knights with splashy in-house PowerPoints claiming they’re saving the world,” said Sublime Systems CEO and Co-Founder Leah Ellis, PhD. “Seeing is believing, and we are grateful to be partnering with Climate Earth, the leader in these critical analyses for the concrete industry. Apples-to-apples comparisons using rigorous industry-accepted standards are foundational to driving real climate solutions and giving our stakeholders confidence in Sublime Cement as a powerful decarbonization tool in their arsenal.”

The cradle-to-gate screening LCA leverages engineering estimates of Sublime Systems’ full-scale commercial production process. Remaining CO2 or equivalent emissions in the GWP figure were largely related to the mining and transportation of feedstocks and waste and wastewater treatment – processes that are primarily upstream and downstream of Sublime’s core manufacturing innovations. The screening LCA also showed drastically reduced acidification and eutrophication potentials without increased water consumption, reflecting a lower environmental footprint and permitting timeline compared to ordinary portland cement.

Sublime Systems is engaging partners for its first major construction projects this quarter and actively planning its charter commercial facility, which will produce tens of thousands of metric tons of low-carbon cement per year.  

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