Metal energy carriers: renewable fuels of the future

Metal powder has superior energy density compared to fossil fuels and hydrogen. Therefore, metal powders have gained interest as a material for energy storage. The main benefits of metal fuels are that they do not produce CO2 emissions during combustion, they have the potential to be retrofitted in existing coal power plants and they can fit into the existing fuel transportation infrastructure. Furthermore, this enables the production of sustainable energy since metal fuels can be regenerated from metal oxides, using hydrogen from renewable sources. In this presentation, the main characteristics of metal fuels are presented with a final focus on clean combustion. A series of burners has been developed:

- single particle or fuel jet in a micro burner to study single particle combustion and particle-particle interaction

- Bunsen-type burner for stabilizing laminar and weakly turbulent premixed flames

- Tornado-swirl burner

First numerical studies are also started for comparison. 

Furthermore, a 100 KW demonstrator set-up is developed to demonstrate clean combustion to produce steam (placed at Swinkels brewery and Metalot centre). Studies to scale up are also conducted. The main objective of this practical systems is the development of an integrated flexible metal fuel burner with a capacity of 100 KW (TRL5). This is an essential step towards implementation of this sustainable technology. This project forms the basis to further develop full scale burners with a capacity of 10 MWth. The development of the prototype burner is executed by a consortium which covers the entire supply chain. This includes the production of metal powder, fuel preparation, burner and combusted product handling. The industrial partners have broad experience in metal powder supply, dense energy carriers and operating coal fired power plants. Furthermore, techno-economic analyses and the assessment of retrofit potential to existing assets will be carried out. Status-quo will be presented

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