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This startup wants to replace inefficient boilers with natural steam — it could solve one of the world's major pollution issues

AtmosZero focuses on heat pumps that rely on electricity instead of the coal or gas.

AtmosZero, Affordable electric heat pump for industries

Photo Credit: iStock

AtmosZero, a manufacturing company based out of Fort Collins, Colorado, has released a scalable and affordable all-electric industrial heat pump aimed at replacing industrial boilers.

Boilers are large vessels that contain water and generate heat via steam. That steam is used to power industrial processes, and you've probably seen them pumping away in places like factories or breweries. Traditional boilers rely on nonrenewable energy sources like coal and gas. However, this dirty energy causes pollution.

Regular boilers create 7% of the world's toxic gases that are leading to Earth's rising temperatures. And heat generation overall accounts for roughly 75% of energy consumption in industrial settings. Some of the toxins used to run these boilers wind up in ground-level ozone (aka in the air we breathe), harming plant life, exacerbating asthma, and irritating the eyes. They also create ash that is rarely properly disposed of, and they lead to a good deal of water waste.

In comes AtmosZero, which has been around since 2021 and is dedicated to the decarbonization of industrial steam. Translation: It is innovating technology that can create steam without dirty energy. Manufacturers need a way to generate heat for many of their applications. AtmosZero is giving them a cleaner way to do so with heat pumps that rely on electricity instead of the coal or gas that boilers use.

"Our vision is to eliminate emissions with a mass-manufactured high-efficiency drop-in electrified steam generator capable of delivering zero-emission steam at a cost comparable to today's fossil-fueled boilers," Addison Stark, CEO of AtmosZero, told BusinessWire.

AtmosZero certainly did not create electric heat pumps. They've been around for a while, but they just haven't become popular in industrial settings. That's mostly because there hasn't been one yet that's as easily scalable or affordable as the one AtmosZero is making.

You may be wondering, "Why don't companies just switch to electric boilers?" Well, they've tried that

However, these result in massive power bills. Electric boilers work by heating coils and metal that eventually boil water to create steam, but they are very energy inefficient. 

AtmosZero's pumps transfer existing heat from one place to another, which requires much less energy. 

AtmosZero will launch a pilot project of its heat pump at the New Belgium Brewing headquarters in Fort Collins in collaboration with energy company Danfoss in late 2024. 

The company plans to move quickly from there. "We're planning on scaling up as aggressively as is feasible," said Stark, according to Canary Media.

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