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These climate tech companies just got $60 million

The challenge in cleaning up the process lies, at least in part, in the fact that lava-hot temperatures are required to kick off the chemical reactions that make cement—I’m talking over 1,500 °C (2,700 °F). 

Queens Carbon developed a new process that cuts down the temperature needed to under 540 °C (1,000 °F). Still toasty, but easier to reach efficiently and with electricity, the company’s CEO, CTO, and cofounder Daniel Kopp said on a press call about the awards. Ideally, that electricity will be supplied with renewables, which could mean big emissions savings.

Queens Carbon will also pocket $14.5 million, and the funding should help with the construction of a pilot plant currently being built in partnership with a major cement producer, Kopp said on the press call. The company plans to scale up to a full-size plant in late 2028 or 2029. 

Ion Storage Systems: Next-generation batteries for EVs

The world is always clamoring for better batteries, and Maryland-based Ion Storage Systems wants to deliver with its solid-state lithium-metal technology.

We named lithium-metal batteries one of our 10 Breakthrough Technologies in 2021. The chemistry could deliver higher energy density, meaning longer range in EVs. 

Ion Storage Systems is planning to produce its batteries first for military customers. With the funding ($20 million worth), the company may be able to get its tech ready for larger-scale production for the wider customer base of the electric-vehicle market. 

I was really interested to hear about the emphasis on manufacturing from CTO Greg Hitz on the press call, as scaling up manufacturing has been a major challenge for other companies trying to build solid-state batteries. Hitz also said that the company’s batteries don’t need to be squeezed at high pressure within cells or heated up, and they can be more simply integrated into battery packs. 

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