Because specific chemical products produced from CO2 through the ERC process are excellent fuels for the MRFC and other fuel cells, these technologies can be integrated to provide a novel energy storage solution. Due to the intermittent nature of many renewable energy sources (such as solar and wind power), energy storage is seen as the "holy grail" of clean energy. This is because energy is still required when the sun is not shining and the wind not blowing.
Through the ERC process, surplus renewable electricity can be used to convert CO2 to high-energy chemicals such as formate. This formate can be stored indefinitely in a tank until needed, and has a high energy density compared to other technologies such as batteries. When it is required, electricity can be recovered from the MRFC using the formate as a fuel. At the end of this cycle, the CO2 is sequestered in a carbonate solution.
This cycle can also work with formic acid, which has a similarly high energy density (see the graph on the right). Formic acid can alternatively be reformed to produce hydrogen gas for conventional fuel cells.
While Mantra's technologies each have compelling independent business cases, their integration opens up a whole new market. The energy storage market is expected to be $25 billion by 2025, and Mantra offers a unique solution for industry and utilities. What is more, because the MRFC can be used not only for stationary power generation, but also for mobile applications, industrial and consumer vehicles can be powered from the products of CO2.