Electrochemical Upcycling for Low-CO2 Materials Production

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OPEN 2021
Weston, Massachusetts
Project Term:
07/28/2022 - 07/27/2025

Critical Need:

Earth’s growing population uses more raw materials and produces more waste than ever before. Raw material extraction and processing are major sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and storage and disposal of waste materials are known to cause a wide range of environmental problems including groundwater and aquatic ecosystem contamination.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

Sublime Systems will develop the first platform technology that uses electrochemistry to upcycle waste products and low-value minerals into valuable, CO2-neutral materials. The technology consists of an impurity-tolerant renewable electricity-powered electrochemical reactor. It generates strong acids and bases to separate, extract, and purify the elements contained in the input materials. The focus is on recovering magnesium, silica, and valuable metals from waste products (coal bottom ash and demolition waste concrete) and highly abundant but low-value mafic or ultramafic rocks. The process can produce starting materials for cements and several metals that can be used as CO2-free alternatives to conventional materials.

Potential Impact:

Sublime Systems’ technology is the first integrated solution for using low-value minerals and wastes to produce valuable materials while preventing environmental contamination and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.


This technology will improve energy efficiency in several economic sectors, increasing U.S. energy security.


The proposed technology can potentially eliminate >25 Mt/year CO2 emissions in the U.S. market.


The project aims to produce starting materials for siliceous and aluminous cements with at least 75% CO2 reduction and cost parity with current production techniques.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Douglas Wicks
Project Contact:
Dr. Jesse Benck
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:

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