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Industrial facilities currently burn fossil fuels to generate medium and high temperature heat for industrial applications. Heat is a necessary input for manufacturing Steel, Cement, Asphalt, Hydrogen and Fractional Distillation of Crude Oil. Some processes use electrical furnaces that are powered by fossil fuels to create the electricity. To meet climate policy objectives these industries must find ways to reduce their carbon intensity. Companies are looking for cleaner methods to produce and store industrial heat. This is a new market driven by climate change policies.


This technology is specifically focused on optimizing the production of heat with renewable energy and cleaner ways of using fossil fuels. The technology can be used to generate carbon neutral or carbon-negative heat for the following industrial applications (1) clean hydrogen (H2) production by steam methane reforming (SMR) and water-gas shift and (2) fractional distillation of crude oil. The technology uses granular media heat storage to enable combustion heat to be time-shifted from when it is created to when it is needed for industrial applications. Note that granular media can include rock, crushed rock, mined aggregate, or manufactured granular media.

A key advantage of this oxy-combustion approach is that high-purity CO2 is generated, which can be dried and compressed for transportation to a user of CO2 or to geological CO2  sequestration (GCS) site without the use of post-combustion, CO2-capture technology, such as amine-stripping. A key advantage of the hybrid-heating approach is that renewable heat can replace a significant fraction of combustion heat and avoid CO2 emissions by displacing fossil fuel. It also avoids CO2 emissions by efficiently decarbonizing combustion.

This invention also can take advantage of using iron-ore pellets as a heat storage media. This has the dual advantage of preheating iron-ore pellets before use in manufacturing, requiring less heating in the manufacturing process. The stored heat is transferred to the shaft furnace (steel facilities only).


Buscheck, T. A., & Upadhye, R. S. (2021). Hybrid-energy approach enabled by heat storage and oxy-combustion to generate electricity with near-zero or negative CO2 emissions. Energy Conversion and Management, 244. (


LLNL’s Carbon-Neutral and Carbon-Negative Industrial Heat Earth Battery has numerous advantages over traditional such as:

  1. The most efficient operational design to produce clean industrial heat
  2. Integrates Renewable technologies with minimal changes to current operations
  3. New processes to capture operational efficiencies
  4. Reduces carbon emissions from major industrial sectors
Potential Applications
  • Carbonless Heat for Cement
  • Carbonless Heat for Steel
  • Carbonless Heat for Asphalt
  • Clean Hydrogen
  • Fractional Distillation of Crude Oil
Development Status

Current stage of technology development:  range from TRL 3 (integrated system) to TRL 7-9 (system components)

Reference Number
IL-13769 and IL-13788