TU/e to start iron powder plant

Photo credit: Studio040/TUe

After the summer, TU/e will start a small factory for burning iron powder. The factory will be located at the Metalot site in Budel.

Burning metal powder is considered a potentially sustainable alternative to coal. For years, a lab at the TU/e has been working on this technology. Now, the technique is ready to be tested outside a lab. According to the TU/e “Metal powder offers a sustainable alternative to coal”.

The burning of metal powder releases a lot of heat. This heat can be used to produce steam. In industry, this may be an alternative to coal in coal-fired power stations. The energy created, can also be used as fuel for trucks and ships.

The rust powder which results from the burning, is collected. It can be converted back into metal powder, using sustainable energy. In 2018 a team of TU/e students created a demonstration-model which burnt iron powder, producing steam and generating electricity.

A research team will test the installation over the next two years. Provincial government and the business community will financially contribute to realise this project.

“The energy transition requires energy storage. Preferably in CO2-free fuels. Metal powder seems very promising, because it is easy and safe to store and transport,’ according to Anne-Marie Spierings, member of Noord Brabant’s Provinciale Staten.

Source: Studio 040

Translator: Kate

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