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Team SOLIDs system, burning iron powder. Credit: Bart van Overbeeke.
The Dutch government informed Dutch industry in January this year that by 2022, it should quit consuming natural gas. Students from Eindhoven University of Technology are working on a sustainable solution to replace industrial fossil fuel consumption: burning iron. This fuel generates no CO2 emissions, and the residual product, rust, can be fully recycled. The iron powder flames produce high temperatures, which is important for many industries. The student team, Team SOLID, has built a proof-of-concept installation that generates both heat and electricity.
Technology - Element - Future - Energy - System
This technology has the potential to become an important element in the future energy system. Excess renewable energy, generated for example by solar panels on sunny days, can be stored compactly in iron by converting rust (iron oxide) into iron. The iron can later serve as fuel, when energy is needed. The iron oxide resulting from the combustion is collected and reused. The use of iron in this system is circular, generating no waste and most importantly, no carbon dioxide.
Team SOLID's system offers a solution for the first half of this circular process. It combusts iron powder and thereby generates hot water, heat and electricity....
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Measuring his life out one teaspoon at a time.