How solar mirrors can reduce CO2 emissions from cement and steel plants

Posted on 14 Apr 2020

The cement industry worldwide is responsible for no less than 8 percent of CO2 emissions. The steel industry also needs fossil fuels for production. A start-up will cooperate with those industries to use solar mirrors as an energy source.

33 percent less emissions

CEO Bill Gross of the California start-up Heliogen: “Some of these steel and cement companies are looking for ways to reduce their CO2 emissions by a few percent. Tests have shown that on one average working day, our solar mirrors, which we can set up on company sites, even reduced CO2 emissions from fossil fuels by 33 percent on one working day. ”

Temperatures above 1,000 degrees

What makes these Heliogen solar mirrors so special? The industrial furnaces of cement and steel mills require temperatures of at least 950 degrees. The current arrangements of solar mirrors are rather static. As a result, they can only reach a common temperature of about 575 degrees Celsius to generate heat in this way via a steam generator. That is more than insufficient for industrial ovens. Heliogen therefore developed software that allows these solar mirrors to focus in order to optimally reflect the sunlight. They use a series of high-resolution cameras for this, which “look at the position of the mirrors in real time. That has never been done before, ”said CEO Gross. In this way, Heliogen can increase the capacity of those solar mirrors to temperatures above 1,000 degrees Celsius, which is ideal for the steel and cement industry. For example, these industries need less oil and / or coal to produce.



© photo Heliogen

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