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Boxes of rocks: a new approach to decarbonizing industry

Date: Monday, November 27, 2023
Time: 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Where:  ZOOM
Industry accounts for about 30% of carbon emissions worldwide. We need a cost-effective way to displace the fossil fuels powering many of these processes today. Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are now the cheapest forms of energy on earth, but are their intermittency is incompatible with 24/7 industrial processes. Antora Energy converts variable renewable electricity into reliable heat and power, decarbonizing industrial processes across sectors. To do so, we go back to one of the oldest forms of energy storage: heat. Our thermal batteries use renewable electricity to heat up blocks of solid carbon—a low-cost and earth-abundant material—to temperatures exceeding 2000 C. We shine the white-hot light coming off our blocks onto discharge panels to generate heat and electricity. In this way, we are uniquely positioned to decarbonize heat and power for our industrial customers.
About the speaker:
Tarun got his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Harvey Mudd in 2010. After a brief stop at MIT, he continued to Stanford and earned his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering in 2016 with Prof. Jennifer Dionne studying phase transformations of palladium hydride in individual nanoparticles. At that time, Google was interested in rigorously vetting dubious reports regarding “cold fusion,” where palladium deuteride purportedly released anomalous quantities of heat when subjected to different stimuli. This work took him to the University of Maryland with Prof. Jeremy Munday. Towards the end of his stint there, Justin Briggs, his labmate at Stanford contacted him about an idea he was interested in commercializing with Andrew Ponec. Once Andrew and Justin incorporated Antora Energy, Tarun joined on as the first employee and has been there ever since. While there, he has worked on various software tools to model different components of Antora’s technology, crunched numbers, and designed an electrical architecture to get a lot of power to one of Antora’s test systems.