Feds Eye $276M in Brimstone, Sublime Binder Plant Project Funding

Two start-ups using limestone alternative feedstocks and processing methods for proprietary concrete binders are poised to receive Energy Department Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) awards supporting projects that reduce or offset carbon dioxide emissions associated with portland cement production. Following a late-March agency announcement, Brimstone Energy and Sublime Systems can negotiate with OCED officials for respective $187 million and $89 million Industrial Demonstrations Programs grants to match private investments behind planned commercial-scale production. 

Themed Deeply Decarbonized Cement, Brimstone’s project envisions a facility equipped for 140,000 metric tons’ annual output of an ASTM C150-grade binder. When measured against the high temperature processing of limestone for portland cement, Brimstone technology attains a CO2 emissions reduction with lower temperature conversion of calcium silicate rock.

“The United States is leading the global clean industrial revolution in no small part due to efforts like the Industrial Demonstrations Program, and we’re thrilled that the Department of Energy has chosen Brimstone,” said Co-Founder and CEO Cody Finke. “We have uniquely reengineered the process to decarbonize cement, at low cost, while delivering the same product builders have trusted for generations.”

“The Department of Energy’s announcement not only represents a critical milestone for Brimstone; it powerfully affirms our potential for global impact,” added Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Hugo Leandri. “By producing 100%, industry standard cement from a widely available, carbon-free feedstock, the Brimstone process is optimized for climate benefit and replicability. Negotiating an award from the Industrial Demonstrations Program will accelerate the path to commercialize our technology.

Successful negotiations for an OCED award stand to expedite development of a facility at the heart of Sublime Systems’ First Commercial Electrochemical Cement Manufacturing project. Located on a 16-acre Holyoke, Mass., site and targeted for a 2026 opening, the facility will use a low temperature, electrolysis-enabled method for transforming calcium-bearing feedstock to concrete binder exhibiting ASTM C1157-grade performance. 

“Access to sufficient capital for industrial-scale demonstrations is the single biggest obstacle preventing breakthrough innovations from reaching the scale humanity needs to combat the climate crisis,” contended Sublime Systems Co-Founder Dr. Leah Ellis. “The Department of Energy has cleared this obstacle through OCED’s Industrial Demonstrations Program. We look forward to collaborating on funding our first commercial manufacturing scale-up, which will ship our clean cement while creating meaningful economic opportunities for the surrounding community.”

The Brimstone and Sublime projects join four other candidates in the OCED Industrial Demonstrations Program’s Cement and Concrete category, where potential awards total $1.6 billion. Parties behind 27 projects under seven other categories are in line to negotiate for a combined $4.4 billion in awards. 

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