The 2 MWh Rondo heat battery at the Calgren ethanol plant in California. courtesy Rondo Energy

It has been suggested that we live in the Age of the Battery. The proliferation of renewable power and the inherent need for energy storage, in addition to the increasing use of mobile electronics and electric vehicles, have motivated advances in battery technologies. The current standard is lithium-ion technology, the widespread energy storage medium powering most mobile phones and hybrid cars. Although Li-ion has impressive storage and recharging capacities, increasing demand for lithium has led to environmental concerns and geopolitical tensions. As a result, industries are looking for alternative substances that can replace or augment Li-ion technology. A surprising area of focus is building materials.

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