In order to meet the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement, industrial processes must improve their efficiency, by reducing, reusing and recycling waste. While much of the attention has been focused on material or organic waste lately, one type of waste recovery could have a big impact: heat.
Today, much of the heat generated by the industrial sector is wasted. This represents millions of tons of CO2 uselessly produced and billions of dollars of lost economic opportunities, as heat can be turned into energy. According to estimates, industry loses between 20 and 40% of the energy it consumes, or the equivalent of € 200 billion in lost revenue.
The Eco-Stock, developed by French-based company Eco-Tech Ceram, was developed to address this issue by recovering waste heat and transforming it into electricity thanks to a mobile thermal storage solution.
Eco-Stock is a metallic container filled with ceramics made from industrial co-products. “Its operation is simple: hot fumes from the chimney are sucked in and sent to the Eco-Stock, storing energy by heating ceramics” explains Eco-Tech Ceram. The heat accumulator can store 2MWh at 600°C. This accumulated heat can either be used as a heating source or be converted into electricity.
While the environmental benefit is clear, as each Eco-Stock unit can prevent up to 8,000 tonnes of CO2 in its lifetime, this solution also has an economic impact. The Eco-Stock produces heat at a price up to 80% lower than heat obtained with natural gas. The company was awarded the World Innovation Prize by former French President François Hollande in 2015, and the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label, in 2018.
To accelerate the commercial deployment of Eco-Stock and promote energy efficiency, Eco-Tech Ceram has recently launched a new participatory fundraising campaign through the digital platform LITA.co, allowing anyone to become an investor in their clean energy solution. The company has announced a goal of 400,000€.
The company, founded in 2014 by Antoine Meffre, a former PhD student from the PROMES laboratory, has also received support from the start by the Occitania region, a partner of the Solar Impulse Foundation, as part of its Positive Energy Region strategy (REPOS).
Their solution is already up and running, as the first commercial unit was inaugurated in March 2019 in South of France, and it now plans to deploy it both in France and internationally.