Sublime Systems to Manufacture Fossil Fuel-Free Cement at New Facility in Massachusetts

Excerpt: Sublime Systems is set to revolutionize the cement industry with its first commercial manufacturing facility in Holyoke, Massachusetts, producing fossil fuel-free cement using renewable energy sources.

Sublime Systems to Manufacture Fossil Fuel-Free Cement at New Facility in Massachusetts
Photo by Michael Baccin / Unsplash

Sublime Systems, a pioneer in developing a fossil-fuel-free, scalable replacement for traditional cement, has secured a 16-acre site in Holyoke, Massachusetts, for its first commercial manufacturing facility. This site, historically significant for hosting paper mills that produced 80% of the US's writing paper in the late 19th century, will now be powered by Holyoke’s dam and canal resources, crucial for Sublime’s fully electrified cement manufacturing process.

The Holyoke Dam and Canal system, owned by Holyoke Gas & Electric, will provide Sublime with an energy mix comprising over 90% renewable and carbon-free generators. This strategic location was chosen for its proximity to headquarters, access to talent, renewable electricity supply, and industrial permitting. Dr. Leah Ellis, CEO and Co-Founder of Sublime Systems, highlighted Holyoke's industrial heritage and its suitability for clean tech manufacturing.

Holyoke's administration recognizes the mutual benefits of this partnership, which aligns with Massachusetts’ emerging green manufacturing economy. Sublime was awarded state tax credits and local Tax Increment Financing to support the project. The facility is expected to create dozens of jobs, with Sublime working closely with local community organizers and business development groups.

Mayor Joshua Garcia of Holyoke expressed enthusiasm for the project, seeing it as a step towards a more innovative and sustainable future. The facility, projected to be completed by 2026, will produce tens of thousands of tons per year of low-carbon cement. This cement is manufactured using an electrochemical process that eliminates the need for fossil fuels and decomposing limestone, the traditional sources of emissions in cement manufacturing.

Sublime’s technology involves an electrolyzer that extracts calcium from inert minerals and industrial waste, producing a reactive silicate and calcium as a pure, reactive solid. These are blended at low temperatures to produce cement with comparable strength and durability to traditional cement, but without the environmental impact. The company plans to use this facility to grow its customer base and fully de-risk its technology before scaling up to a traditional-sized cement manufacturing facility.