Iron powder can replace coal and gas in industry

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Dutch plant tests a new heating system that uses clean iron powder as fuel instead of fossil fuels.

Under normal conditions, it is very difficult to pour a large piece of iron, but if it is crushed to the state of dust, the oxidation process will significantly increase. At the same time, in the process of burning iron, more energy is distinguished than from the same volume of gasoline, and the only by-product is rust. However, due to the high density, its specific combustion energy is significantly lower that it does not allow to use such a way to power the car or housing, but the powder is well suited for industry.

Some production processes require fuel use, since electricity does not allow to effectively produce heat. However, the countries of the whole world began to actively deal with fossil fuel and environmental pollution, and hydrogen requires special storage conditions and is an explosive substance. Therefore, scientists from the Technical University of Eindhoven have developed a system that allows you to use iron powder for this purpose.

Together with the company Swinkels Family Brewers and the Metal Power consortium, they created an experimental installation and recently launched it in the Bavaria Dutch brewer. In it, in the process of combustion, iron releases thermal energy, which is sent to the production processes of the plant. After oxidation, the metal turns into rust, which is collected for reuse after recovery by hydrogen.

Currently, researchers test three different powder recovery technologies with different temperature modes to determine the most efficient option. This process is energy-efficient, therefore, electricity and hydrogen derived from renewable sources are used to power the reactor. At the same time, most of the embedded energy will be released during the subsequent burning of the reduced iron dust.

According to scientists, such heating systems can also be established on cargo ships or use them for the modernization of existing coal power plants.

Recall that in August in Sweden opened

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