Bill Gates supports startup using sunlight to create 1000C-plus heat | Environment

Bill Gates supports a new initiative aimed at turning sunlight into a heat source above 1000 C that can help replace fossil fuels.

The world's richest man joins investors behind Heliogen, the first company to concentrate sunlight to reach temperatures high enough to run heavy industry without carbon emissions.

The technology can even reach temperatures of 1[ads1]500C to divide hydrogen particles from water to create a fossil-free gas for hot homes, fuel trucks and power plants. [19659002] Bill Gross, CEO and founder of California-based Heliogen, said that the company represents a technological leap forward in tackling emissions from industry and transportation that make up 75% of the world's carbon footprint.

The company uses software to adjust a wide variety of mirrors to reflect sunlight toward a target, creating a heat source nearly three times as intense as previous commercial solar systems.

  Heliogen's Solar Plant in Lancaster, California

Heliogen's Solar Plant in Lancaster, California Photo: Heliogen

Gross said that creating low-cost, ultra-high temperature process heat gives the company an opportunity to make meaningful contributions to solving the climate crisis.

The technology can generate temperatures high enough to produce cement without creating greenhouse gases.

Cement is the world's third largest source of oil and coal emissions, and production is expected to increase due to urbanization in developing countries and economic growth.

If allowed to continue uncontrolled, cement production would pose a major threat to the goals set in the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit rising temperatures to 1.5 ° C above the pre-industrial level.

Helios has the support of private equity investors and entrepreneurs who believe its technology can help the most polluting industries to cut their carbon emissions.

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Early investors in Heliogen include Gates, venture capital firm Neotribe and billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong's Nant Capital.

Gates said he was pleased to be a first supporter of a "promising development in the quest for a day to replace fossil fuels. "

" Today, industrial processes such as those used to make cement, steel and other materials are responsible for more than a fifth of all emissions, "he added." These materials are everywhere in our lives, but we have no breakthroughs demonstrated that will give us reasonable versions of zero carbon of them. If we want to achieve zero carbon emissions overall, we have a lot to invent. "

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