Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Kraftblock

High-temperature thermal energy storage for heavy industry

Agriculture & Energy

One company is helping industry players reduce the impact of emission-heavy processes with its technology for storing and recycling wasted heat

Spotted: Heavy industries like steel work at temperatures that exceed a thousand degrees Celsius. This is heavily energy-intensive and also involves a huge amount of wasted heat that is lost in the process, leaving CO2 emissions unnecessarily high. 

One company, Kraftblock, has devised a storage system that allows this wasted energy to be captured. The Kraftblock technology is a storage unit that resembles a shipping container and is made of around 85 per cent recycled materials while being almost entirely recyclable itself. The unit combines high thermal conductivity with a high specific heat capacity, meaning it can store and distribute heat very efficiently. 

The system works by transferring heat from a heat transfer medium to the storage material in the block’s core, which is made of an extremely productive granulate. Then, when the heat is needed again, the process is reversed with a cold transfer medium flowing through the granulate to extract the heat. The heat can then be used directly or converted into electricity to power various industrial processes. The system works with any kind of heat transfer media, whether that is air, liquid salt, flue gas, or even thermal oil.

A Kraftblock unit is capable of storing heat at temperatures up to 1,300 degrees Celsius, with around 1.2 megawatt-hours of energy able to be stored per cubic metre. In short, it’s a compact, efficient system of storage. What is more, the system is durable, lasting around 40 years or 15,000 cycles, while offering easy scalability in storage-type containers that can be stacked. 

The technology can be applied in a range of industries, including steel, pulp and paper, glass, energy and utilities, food, and chemicals.

Following a recent series B funding round that raised €20 million Kraftblock is looking to expand its team and production capacity, as well as broaden its reach across the globe. 

Powerful energy storage is key to cultivating resilient renewable energy systems. In the archive, Springwise has also spotted these sodium-ion batteries made from recycled agricultural waste as well as this company that uses recycled EV batteries for on-site energy storage. 

Written By: Archie Cox 



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