Lunch Debate in cooperation with TU/e on "Alternative renewables: Iron Power Technology - present and future"


During the energy transition, one of the key problems is the storage and transport of sustainable energy. Especially the industry is in need for green energy also when there is no direct green electricity at hand (e.g., when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining). A very promising solution, complementary to hydrogen, is the storage of energy in Iron Powder. The Iron Power Cycle is presented below.

A diagram explaining Iron Power Technology

Energy is stored by reducing rust (iron oxide powder) with hydrogen (transforming rust to iron powder). This iron powder can be safely transported as bulk material, for example by ships and trucks, but can be stored centrally as well as de-centrally.

During combustion, the energy in the iron powder is released in the form of heat without direct CO2 and SOx emissions and with very little direct NOx emissions. After combustion, the produced rust can be reused in a subsequent cycle. Iron powder is a clean, compact, recyclable,safe, cost competitive and efficient energy carrier.

This makes iron powder a complementary solution for specific challenges in the energy transition, such as:

    i) Importing sustainable energy from places where a lot of cheap electricity is available, e.g.,from South Europe to North-West Europe;

     ii) Decarbonizing heat demand in industries that are difficult to make sustainable because, for example, they cannot be electrified and/or are decentralized.

making the sustainable energy system robust through safe storage.

The iron powder cycle is already efficient compared to other energy carriers and research is currently being conducted to increase efficiency even further by directly reducing iron powder without the intermediate step of making hydrogen from electricity.


Since 2015, research into the use of iron powder as an energy carrier has been conducted by TU Eindhoven and TNO, among others. This has also spawned startups such as RIFT and Iron+and various iron powder installations have already been tested at companies.

These leading iron powder parties have formed a consortium that is setting up a joint Iron Power program to enable and scale up the role of iron powder in the energy transition. This is done through an R&D program, various pilot & demo projects and catalyzing innovation infrastructure, which Metalot will provide as an independent central ecosystem builder. National and international universities,research institutes, suppliers and end users will work together in this consortium and program.

R&D, pilots and demo’s need to be developed Europe wide, enabling the dissemination of the technology over Europe. Green Steel industry and Hydrogen Community will benefit hugely if this technology will take off. Joint efforts with these industries are therefore foreseen.

Franc Bogovič

MEP, ITRE, EPP, Slovenia

If we speak about decarbonization, there are many, many challenges. First, how to produce enough green energy, then how to make this energy affordable. And one of the biggest challenges: how to store energy. I think that Iron Power Technology is a very exciting and promising solutions for the future.

Vincent Berrutto

Head of Unit Digitalisation, competitiveness, research and innovation, DG ENER, EC

Research and innovation in all forms of energy storage, including for stationary and long-duration applications, are essential to allow the greater penetration of renewable energy sources.

Mark Cox

Program Manager, Eindhoven Institute for Renewable Energy Systems (EIRES), TU Eindhoven

The warning is that people from outside Europe, like America, Russia, or Asia, are also seeing that this technology is promising and contacting this type of startups. And it's also for you to take care that we don't give everything away to companies or politics outside of Europe.

Philip de Goey

Full Professor of Combustion Technology in the Power & Flow Section, Mechanical Engineering Department, TU Eindhoven*

The clean, circular, dense and cost competitive large-scale and long-term sustainable energy carrier Iron power will play a crucial role in the energy transition and will create a leading role for Europe worldwide.

Appel van Randen

Business development & Public affairs, RIFT

Our solution involves to deploy Iron Fuel Technology™, a clean technology that uses iron powder as a CO2-free, safe and grid-independent energy carrier. We are developing the Iron Fuel Technology™ for cost-effective mass-scale deployment worldwide, to address 12% of total GHG emissions.

Jan Hubers

Manager Public Funding & Public Affairs, RIFT

The EU is known for a wide spectrum of grant instruments supporting the way to a clean economy. However, most of all, private funding for first-of-a-kind systems of capital intensive clean technologies needs to be de-risked in order to reduce costs of financing for these systems and enable adoption. This is because these costs, in the form of interest and expected returns, are much higher at traditional private debt and equity providers for first-of-a-kind systems due to higher perceived risks. The Catalyst fund recently initiated by the EC and Breakthrough Energy is a great example of this, but bank guarantees could provide another equally powerful and necessary instrument. Fortunately, the EIB has already recently announced a guarantee facility for wind and electricity projects, but the scope should be extended to support decarbonization as broadly as possible. Not just for wind and grid investments, but also for, for example, investments that contribute to the goals of the Net-zero Industry Act. The private market will not fully accept the financial risk purely for the sake of mitigating climate change, so the public domain has to step in to address this market failure.

Raoul Voeten

Managing Director, Metalot Future Energy Lab BV

Metalot Ecosystem plays a crucial role in Europe, offering a competitive advantage through leading technology and significant industrial potential. It contributes to clean energy, facilitating decarbonization with zero CO2, low NOx, and a circular approach. Moreover, it strengthens Europe by ensuring energy independence and enabling the transfer of energy from southern to northern regions.