Metal Power Lighthouse

Project: Research direct

Project Details


The Lighthouse Metal Power project is a strong collaboration between the TU/e, industry and the government. Within this project, the consortium aims to build and demonstrate a 100 kW iron fueled boiler system (MP100). Realizing this MP100 demonstration setup will be an important step towards the application of metal fuels.

The ambition to close the European coal-fired power stations will make an important contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It does, however, impose a big challenge in the stability of the electricity grid due to the erratic nature of renewable energy sources. By storing energy in metals when, or where, renewable energy is abundant and burning it in for example Uniper’s retrofitted metal-fired power station, these metal fuels play an important role in buffering the grid. 

The combustion of iron has already been shown in the labs of the TU/e by students, researchers and student team SOLID. There are, of course, some steps to be made to scale up from several kW’s in the lab to 100 MW burners in coal-fired power plants. The next stage towards application of iron as a renewable fuel is a 100 kW industrial demonstration setup. To build the MP100, the TU/e has combined forces with EM Group (burner technology, automation and assembly), Romico (dust filtration with an RPS), HeatPower (boiler technology) and SOLID. The student team plays in important role in the realization of the setup, developing the ecosystem and organizing the demonstration.For the demonstration, the consortium made an agreement with Swinkels Brewery to reveal the MP100 system at their site in Lieshout once it is completely fine-tuned. 

After the demonstration, the MP100 system will move to the Nyrstar industrial site for further research. The latter is an important part of the project, as the system will be used to study the effects of the combustion process, oxide particle capture and heat exchange on this scale. This information will help further development.

Using metal fuel technology for grid balancing in Uniper’s retroffited power station or as a renewable steam supply in Bavaria’s brew process are just examples of the wide range of possible applications. The technology is also promising for several other segments. One could also think of utilizing combustion heat directly in industrial processes or use the metals as a dense fuel for large shipping. Together with Enpuls (part of Enexis) the techno-economic feasibility of several of these applications is studied. 

The Lighthouse Metal Power project is funded by the province of Noord-Brabant and together with contributions of the partners accounting for 2.4 M€ in total. 

People involved in this project: Philip de Goey, Tim Spee, Yuri Shoshyn & Mark Hulsbos
Effective start/end date1/12/1831/12/21


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