Lighthouse - Metal Energy Carrier

Project: Research direct

Project Details


The Lighthouse Metal Energy Carrier (MEC) consortium project is a strong collaboration between the TU/e, industry and the government and is complementary to the Lighthouse Metal Power project. In Lighthouse Metal Power, the iron powder is combusted to generate heat. In Lighthouse Metal Energy Carrier, this oxidized iron powder (iron oxide) is regenerated back to iron powder. Demonstrating cyclic usage of the renewable fuel iron powder is an important step towards application of metal fuels.

The world is producing more renewable energy than ever before. The renewable generation capacity is growing day by day and this trend is strengthening as the business case of investing in renewable energy generation is improving. This, however, comes with challenges as for the spatial and temporal discrepancy between energy demand and supply large amounts of energy will need to be stored and transported around the globe. Therefore, the need is arising for energy carriers that are easy to store and transport. Metal fuels can be such an energy carrier, and the consortium focusses primarily on iron, as it can overcome these challenges in a safe and cost-effective way.

In the metal fuel concept, iron powder is used cyclically to store and release renewable energy. Where Lighthouse Metal Power focusses on developing combustion technology to release the energy in iron powder, Lighthouse MEC aims to valorize and demonstrate the regeneration of the combustion product (iron oxide) back to metallic iron powder, effectively storing renewable energy. The consortium will asses the regeneration technology, develop a regeneration reactor and demonstrate the cyclicity and therewith sustainability of metal fuels.

For this, the TU/e has partnered up with key players in the ecosystem. Pometon, an Italian powder producer, is specialized in the production of iron powders. RISE ETC, a Swedish research institute, has experience in analyzing important fuel characteristics and EM Group will develop the regeneration setup. SOLID is assisting in the development, built and testing of the regeneration demonstrator and will cluster, together with Metalot, the information to create a roadmap for metal fuel technology development.

The Lighthouse Metal Energy Carrier project is funded by the province of Noord-Brabant and Shell, and together with contributions of the partners accounting for 1.4 M€ in total.

Consortium: TU/e, Shell, Pometon, RISE ETC, EM Group, SOLID, Metalot
Effective start/end date1/01/201/07/22


  • combustion


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