Though the method remains untested at a large scale, if Rondo pulls this off, it could have a massive impact on the future of the planet.
Rondo uses refractory brick, made mostly from oxygen, silicon, and aluminum, and is known for its heat-storing abilities, per Canary Media. The company heats the bricks in an insulated container using clean electricity from more affordable energy sources. The bricks can hold heat of over 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit and can supply on-demand heat to replace dirty energy methods used in intensive industrial processes.
Rondo, based in the Bay Area, is producing the bricks at a facility in Thailand owned by Siam Cement Group. Over the next few years, that factory will undergo a massive expansion, increasing its output by nearly 40 times its current production.
Once the larger facility is up and running, it will be the world’s largest battery facility in terms of output — able to produce much more storage capacity than lithium-ion factories. The factory will easily outproduce current facilities run by Tesla and GM, according to Canary Media.
Rondo is able to expand production so rapidly because the storage mechanism doesn’t include the expensive materials that traditional batteries do. That’s not to mention the partnership with SCG, which already manufactures this type of brick.
Incredible amounts of heat are necessary to make a lot of things, like cement, steel, and even baby food. Many companies have pledged to cut back on air pollution produced at their factories, but many don’t know how to produce the heat necessary to make their products without burning coal or gas.
Rondo CEO John O’Donnell believes the cheaper production cost and a reliable alternative to dirty energy are a no-brainer.
O’Donnell told Canary Media: “Where it delivers both economic value and decarbonization — then you’ve got economic tailwinds. Those are the projects we’re focusing on serving.”
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