Enabling 100% sustainable heat.

Iron Fuel Technology™

The cleantech for energy-intensive industries.

To enable 100% sustainable process heat, we need new cost-effective technologies. The Iron Fuel Technology™ enables us to drastically reduce our CO2 emissions. It offers a new class of fuel which can provide reliable and fully renewable heat, year-round.

The Iron Fuel Technology™ has been demonstrated to be:

CO2 free

No CO2 and low NOx emissions during combustion.

Circular

Iron fuel is circular, meaning it can be used over and over again.

Safe

Not dangerous or harmful; therefore cheap to store and transport.

Competitive

Lower or comparable cost of energy compared to other clean tech.

Compact

Containing 25.4 GJ of energy per cubic meter.

Technology applications

    • Reliable renewable and sustainable heat
    • Independent of weather events and seasons
    • Energy transport without new infrastructure
    • Renewable energy when and where it is needed

A decarbonized world

    • No harmful emissions
    • Deep decarbonization with limited changes to infrastructure
    • Durable systems
    • Creating numerous jobs in various fields

A new process to store and release energy.

The working principle is easy. In its simplest description, we are rusting and unrusting iron. Rusting, or combustion, yields high-temperature energy that is converted into steam or hot water. Unrusting, or production, takes place by chemical reaction with hydrogen. In this way, sustainable hydrogen becomes storable, transportable and made suitable for zero-carbon high-temperature heat delivery.

Cycle RIFT_additions_outlined5

Applicable in multiple energy transport and storage concepts..

Iron fuel production and boiler systems can be placed at separate locations. In addition, iron fuel does not have to be used directly after being produced. The technology enables energy storage and transport, so it can be used at other places and/or times. In this way, iron fuel unlocks the potential for trade of clean energy.

Energy transport

Iron fuel can be tranported either regional (<100 km), continental (100-3000 km) or intercontinental (>3000 km).

Energy storage

Iron fuel can be stored on multiple timescales: short (<10 days), medium (10-180 days) or seasonal (>180 days).

Talking about our progress.

To realize our ambition, we work according to a planned path of development. Major milestones have already been reached and more will soon follow. Take a closer look at the main steps we take to reach commercial deployment of the Iron Fuel Technology™ in 2024.

2019

Proof of Principle

  • Researchers at TU/e showed that the process is technically possible.
2020

Technology selection

  • Together with the MEC consortium, we executed a techno-economic study and selected the most promising technology for iron fuel production.
2021

Software models

  • We created analytical and numerical models for the design of our production technology, centered around customer requirements.
A
2021

Validation of technical principles

  • Tests will be done to validate the largest technical challenges derived from the software models in a lab setup.
2022

Proof of concept

  • We will demonstrate a continuous and cost-effective production process, practically validating the business case of iron fuel production.
2022

Prototype

  • A scaled-up and optimized process will be realized and demonstrated. This unit will be the prototype of commercial iron fuel production systems.
2023

Pilot

  • Realization of the first ever industrial iron fuel production plant at scale. This system will be the starting point of commercial roll-out of iron fuel production plants.
2024

Commercial roll-out

  • Deployment of multiple commercial systems for iron fuel production to supply commercial boilers.
2017

Proof of Principle – Lab

  • Student team SOLID demonstrates at TU/e that combustion of iron fuel is technically possible.
2020

Proof of Principle – Industry

  • The Metal Power consortium demonstrated world’s first industrial iron fuel boiler at the Bavaria brewery of Swinkels Family Brewers.
2020

Customer requirements

  • The most crucial technical, economic and environmental performance requirements are indicated and validated with potential customers.
2021

Software models

  • We created advanced analytical and numerical models for the design of iron-fueled boilers, centered around customer requirements.
A
2021

Proof of concept

  • We will realize a proven iron fuel burner which demonstrates the business case of iron fuel in practice.
2022

Prototype

  • Realization of a cost-effective industrial iron fuel boiler. The unit will be the prototype of commercial iron fuel boilers.
2023

Pilot

  • Realization of the first ever industrial iron fuel boiler at scale. This system will be the starting point of commercial roll-out of iron fuel boilers.
2024

Commercial roll-out

  • Deployment of multiple commercial systems in the district heating, food and beverage, paper and pulp industry.