Left: Antora's thermal battery; Right: Detail of carbon blocks in Antora's thermal battery
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From melting sand into glass to smelting metals, the world’s industries require heat, and a lot of it. Today, they get most of it from fossil fuels, and finding an efficient green alternative is a major challenge. Antora Energy may have a solution. Its technology, known as a thermal battery, involves using electricity to heat up graphite blocks to more than 3,200°F inside an insulated container. When a window in the container is opened, heat is released, which can also be converted to electricity with thermophotovoltaic cells. The company raised more than $50 million in venture capital in February, and it more recently started operating a commercial scale pilot project in Fresno, Calif.

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Write to Alejandro de la Garza at alejandro.delagarza@time.com.

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