Summit Materials subsidiary taking unique approach to decarbonization

By |  October 23, 2023

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Summit Materials, in partnership with subsidiary Continental Cement Co., established a formal alliance with PCC Hydrogen (PCCH2) to develop a fuel-replacement strategy that will lower carbon emissions from its cement manufacturing process.

Summit, Continental Cement and PCCH2 aim to deploy negative-carbon-intensity hydrogen derived from ethanol as a replacement fuel for the existing hydrocarbon fuels used as a source of heat in the cement manufacturing process.

According to Summit, Continental Cement will provide its expertise related to the use of alternative fuels in the cement-production process. PCCH2, meanwhile, will develop a plan for the construction of one of its hydrogen-production facilities to support the hydrogen needs required.

“Continental Cement has a longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship, seeking out opportunities to develop innovative practices and differentiated solutions to build a better tomorrow,” says David Loomes, president of Continental Cement. “Our company has signed on to the Portland Cement Association’s ‘Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality,’ a goal of achieving carbon neutrality across the value chain by 2050.

“By coupling PCCH2’s hydrogen-production process with our cement manufacturing know-how, we are taking a bold stride towards achieving that goal while continuing the push to cost-effective decarbonization of cement manufacturing.”

By using ethanol as a feed source and by capturing the pure carbon dioxide byproduct of the hydrogen manufacturing process, Summit says PCCH2 can deliver high-purity, negative-carbon green hydrogen to fuel Continental Cement’s manufacturing process. The approach will result in optimal efficiency and thermal stability, Summit adds.

As Summit describes, green hydrogen is one of the most attractive means to mitigate carbon dioxide in industrial applications and, ultimately, get closer to net-zero carbon dioxide emissions.

“We couldn’t have found a better partner to explore innovative ways to decarbonize cement manufacturing – the backbone of our economy,” says Timothy Fogarty, CEO of PCCH2. “Continental Cement is an industry leader with over a century of operational history and is already evidencing its commitment to the environment through its subsidiary Green America Recycling. We are excited to help fulfill that commitment with our negative-carbon-intensity hydrogen providing a new avenue to decarbonization.”

According to Summit, Continental Cement is championing several sustainability initiatives through its work with Green America Recycling. Continental Cement is adopting new technologies and cutting-edge approaches to address climate change while delivering social, environmental and economic benefits, the company says.

“Hydrogen represents a promising pathway for decarbonizing cement manufacturing,” Loomes says. “We are excited to partner with PCC Hydrogen to explore how to deliver on that promise.”

Related: Summit, Continental Cement celebrate cement storage facility

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Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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