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Brimstone’s $189 million federal award is a game-changer for cement decarbonization

The funding will accelerate the production of Brimstone’s zero-carbon cement — the only one in the world certified as ordinary portland cement

The cement industry accounts for a whopping 7.5 percent of global CO2 emissions, but it has struggled to find scalable, cost-effective, zero-carbon methods to produce ordinary portland cement (OPC), the cement used in over 90% of construc­tion globally. As the only company in the world to have received the relevant (ASTM) certi­fi­ca­tion that its zero-carbon cement is OPC, DCVC portfolio company Brimstone is uniquely poised to change that. And its timeline for scaling its technology just got seriously sped up.

This week, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demon­stra­tions announced that it had selected Brimstone for a federal award of up to $189 million as part of a historic $6 billion decar­boniza­tion effort. This non-dilutive funding will finance the construc­tion of a first-of-its-kind commercial-scale plant.

The importance of this funding cannot be overstated. The DOE is essentially helping to de-risk Brimstone’s technology for future investors and adopters. This, in turn, will pave the way for widespread deployment of the company’s clean cement technology.

Brimstone’s approach relies on abundant, carbon-free calcium silicate rocks to reduce emissions from cement production while generating magnesium compounds that absorb carbon dioxide from the air. The company’s first plant will produce up to a combined 140,000 metric tons per year of OPC and supple­men­tary cemen­ti­tious materials (another core concrete ingredient), while preventing 120,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

Brimstone is now ready to scale its technology at an accelerated pace, bringing us closer to a future where the construc­tion industry can meet the growing demand for cement while dramat­i­cally reducing its carbon footprint. DCVC is proud to be part of this vital effort.

Rachel Slaybaugh is a Partner at DCVC.

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