Using cement as an alternative to batteries
Holcim, ENGIE, and INSA Lyon partner to develop breakthrough energy storage solution
HOLCIM are developing a breakthrough energy storage technology together with INSA Lyon and ENGIE’s corporate research centre, ENGIE Lab CRIGEN, to serve as an alternative to batteries.
The solution is based on cement hydration, storing heat as energy and releasing it when needed in an infinitely repeatable cycle. This next-generation approach is said to offer an alternative to conventional batteries that is local, safe, affordable, and recyclable.
Edelio Bermejo (pictured), Holcim’s head of global innovation, said: ‘The world needs innovative solutions to accelerate our shift towards renewable energy generation, distribution, and storage – all areas in which Holcim can play a big part.
‘With this collaboration, we are moving energy storage forward, opening up a new range of solutions based on materials that are local and recyclable.’
The innovative solution is based on leveraging the unique properties of a specific cementitious material that can absorb 300kW of energy per cubic metre and release it later through hydration.
It is designed to store the surplus energy that runs through a heating network and release it when needed through a hydration trigger – a cycle can be repeated infinitely.
The three partner organizations will investigate how to efficiently integrate this solution into a heating network as well as the broader energy infrastructure.
Holcim say this innovative approach could help meet the demands of renewable energy storage while optimizing urban heating networks, in line with the company’s vision to build greener cities.