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HOW TO IDENTIFY METAL AS A FUEL?

PROMISING IRON POWDER PROPERTIES

1. It does not contain carbon in its chemical structure 

2. Element reacts with oxygen (combustion)

3. It competes with other available fuels in terms of energy density

4. No toxic, radioactive or dangerous elements are released during combustion

5. Metal oxide reduction must occur without carbon emission 

6. The technology must be scalable

1. When combusted, iron powder releases no carbon dioxide emissions since there exists no carbon in iron

2. Because the reaction product particles are larger, they can be captured, which enables circular use of the energy carrier

3. Iron powder is very compact - lots of energy is stored in a small particle

4. Iron powder can be easily and cheaply stored for a long time, without leaks

5. Iron powder is one of the most common elements on earth

 

MILESTONE MAPPING

In this timeline, we are mapping the technical milestones. The first one is all about the dispersion system, the module that is now finished and ready to be tested. This year’s system will mix iron powder with air, burn the iron powder, use the heat of the flame for steam production, and catch the rust.

The dispersion system is part of this energy storage system. It supplies the system with iron powder and mixes the iron powder with air. To obtain the desired ratio in the mixture, a screw feeder is used, which, as the name implies, ‘fuels’ the system with the iron powder. In a venturi tube, a tube that is narrowed in the middle, the supplied iron powder is mixed with a stream of air.

 

During the development of the dispersion system, we collaborated with and at the site of EM Group. This went smoothly, yet some technical challenges remained to be tackled. One of these challenges was to increase the supplied amount of iron powder provided by the feeder, which only supplied a third of what was intended. This meant that at first, a flame of only 50kW could be created, instead of the 100 kW we aimed for.

 

Now that this challenge is tackled, we will connect the dispersion system to the burner, and start testing!