Concrete Breakthrough: Storing Energy In Home Walls?

MIT researchers have unveiled a groundbreaking concept – concrete that stores energy! This innovation holds immense promise for tackling the critical challenge of storing renewable energy.


Damian Stefaniuk and his team achieved this feat by incorporating carbon black, a common car tire component, into a cement mix. This unique blend, when combined with water, transforms into a supercapacitor.

While supercapacitors can’t compete with lithium-ion batteries for long-term storage, their rapid charging and discharging capabilities make them ideal complements. Stefaniuk believes this concrete technology can revolutionize energy storage, especially for fluctuating renewable sources like solar and wind.

Imagine roads that wirelessly charge electric vehicles as they drive! Or buildings with energy-storing walls, foundations, and columns! The applications are truly mind-boggling.

However, this technology is still in its early stages. Currently, their prototype can only power a 10-watt LED for 30 hours. Additionally, supercapacitors discharge quickly and have lower energy density compared to batteries.

Despite these hurdles, Stefaniuk is optimistic. He envisions scaled-up versions meeting the daily energy needs of a house. The team is already planning a much larger prototype to test this theory.

But challenges remain. New discoveries often face problems when scaling up from labs to real-world applications. Manufacturing complexities, resource limitations, and even fundamental physics or chemistry could pose obstacles.

Despite the hurdles, MIT’s energy-storing concrete offers a glimpse into a future where our homes and infrastructure become part of the energy solution, not just the problem.

Reference- BBC, Vox, Interesting Engineering, Popular Science, ScienceDirect, Technology Review