Titan Group eyes cement kiln potential in heat battery technology stake

Sources: Rondo Energy Inc., Oakland, Calif.; CP staff

Titan Cement Company S.A., Athens, has joined a venture capital funding round for Rondo Energy, whose heat battery technology holds promise for decarbonizing cement production and power generation. The modular Rondo Heat Battery uses established methods to transform renewable electricity into heat at 98 percent efficiency, and has potential for high scalability at costs competitive with current energy storage technology. In addition to delivering up to 1,500°C heat—a requisite cement kiln threshold—the modular apparatus can store renewable energy generated during off-peak hours, ensure grid load flexibility, and achieve additional greenhouse gas emissions savings.

Rondo Heat Battery brick assemblies charge from wind, solar or grid power, and can generate cement kiln-level temperatures on demand.

The parent company of Virginia-based Titan America will team with Rondo Energy on decarbonization methods. The heat battery concept could prove of particular importance to Titan and global or North American peer operators abiding carbon neutrality roadmaps. As energy transfer can take place using cement kiln flue gases, heat battery-generated high temperatures can be used to produce clinker, as well as for the thermal activation of raw feed minerals and by-products. Both functions stand to alleviate a significant volume of fossil fuel combustion emissions at the front end of cement production.

Along with Titan Group work, Rondo will use the new capital infusion to establish it first manufacturing lines, proceed with industrial demonstrations, and develop services for heavy industry and energy producers. Company engineers likewise see the heat battery potentially becoming a critical component of novel energy-intensive processes for decarbonization, such as carbon capture, green hydrogen generation and captured CO2 conversion.

“With vital support from Titan and our partners, we will unlock the availability of low-cost, zero-carbon, high-temperature heat, together setting a new standard for industrial decarbonization,” says Rondo Energy CEO John O’Donnell.

“Combining our expertise in sustainable manufacturing and entrepreneurial approach to innovation with Rondo’s breakthrough technology and globally unique partner ecosystem, we are confident that we can play a leading role in building the infrastructure of the future and accelerating the roadmap towards carbon neutrality of the construction value chain,” adds Titan Group Innovation & Technology Director Fokion Tasoulas. 

The producer joined Energy Impact Partners and Breakthrough Energy Ventures in the $20 million-plus Rondo Energy Series A financing. Backed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Breakthrough Energy led a similar investment round last month for Terra CO2 Technology, Colorado-based developer of supplementary and primary cementitious materials, and has also invested in Nova Scotia-based CarbonCure Technologies. 

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