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Energy Dome and CO2: from problem to opportunity

Probably everyone knows that CO2 causes the greenhouse effect; less well-known are its thermodynamic properties. Properties exploited by Energy Dome in building the CO2 Battery, a technology that can store electrical energy, ideally from renewable sources, for use when needed.

reading time5 minutes

How can a problem turn into an opportunity? Today, Claudio Spadacini, a Piedmontese born in Verbania, a graduate of Politecnico di Milano and CEO and founder of the startup Energy Dome, explains it to us. This start-up moves from the idea that the energy transition, to be truly sustainable, must be based on technologies that can store energy from renewable sources and make it available when needed.

CO2 Battery: energy where and when you need it

To this end, Energy Dome has patented the first CO2 Battery, a technology that manages to store electricity from the grid – the power grid but also a solar or wind farm – thanks to an unexpected ally: CO2, which, besides its damaging property of causing the greenhouse effect, also has thermodynamic properties. The CO2 Battery is a closed thermodynamic storage system that absorbs energy from the grid during the charging phase and compresses the ‘captured’ CO2 to a liquid state at room temperature. This compression generates thermal energy and, when discharged, the heat evaporates the CO2 while a series of turbines feed clean electricity into the grid.

Efficiency and sustainability are the keywords

The system works in perfect synergy with the electricity grid, from which it captures energy when in excess and releases it when needed. It is a highly efficient technology – it feeds about 75 per cent of the stored energy back into the system – and completely sustainable, as the battery is made of steel (100 per cent recyclable metal), has an average lifespan of 30 years, water is only used during charging. The system does not use rare earth elements for its operation.

An award-winning start-up

All this, of course, is attracting great interest worldwide, and the start-up, founded in 2020, has managed to raise substantial funding. Investors such as 360 Capital, Barclays, Cdp Capital and Novum Capital Partners (already a shareholder of Energy Dome) participated in the first round of capital raising, which closed in 2021 at USD 21 million.

A further EUR 17.5 million in funding was provided in December last year by the European Innovation Council Accelerator, a European funding programme established to identify, finance and develop innovations in strategic areas.

A major round of EUR 40 million closed in April 2023 but was later extended until the end of July for a total of EUR 55 million. In addition to the renewed participation of 360 Capital and CDP Venture Capital, Innovation Development Oman Investments, Vopak Ventures, and Sagana chose to participate in the venture. In particular, Energy Dome was selected from over a thousand participating companies.

With this transaction, CDP kicked off the operation of its Green Transition Fund, which uses the resources allocated by the EU through the NextGeneration EU initiative to foster the growth of an innovation ecosystem in green transition sectors.

Energy Dome was also selected for the largest funding among more than a thousand other companies that participated in CDP’s Green Transition Fund programme, which uses resources from the NextGeneration EU plan to foster innovation in the service of energy transition.

But this is not the end of it. The start-up is now part of the Cleantech for Europe’s Scale-Up Coalition, founded by Bill Gates and launched in October 2022 to industrialise technologies to help Europe become climate-neutral and energy-independent, thereby improving its competitiveness.

Today, Energy Dome is the only company in the world able to store energy produced from non-programmable renewable sources: congratulations to those who bring Made in Italy technology and innovation to the world!

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