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Iron as Recyclable Energy Carrier: Feasibility Study and Kinetic Analysis of Iron Oxide Reduction


Carbon-free and sustainable energy storage solutions are required to mitigate climate change. One possible solution, especially for stationary applications, could be the storage of energy in metal fuels. Energy can be stored through reduction of the oxide with green hydrogen and be released by combustion. In this work a feasibility study for iron as possible metal fuel considering the complete energy cycle is conducted. Based on equilibrium calculations it could be shown that the power-to-power efficiency of the iron/iron oxide cycle is 27 %. As technology development requires a more detailed description of both the reduction and the oxidation, a first outlook is given on the kinetic analysis of the reduction of iron oxides with hydrogen. Based on thermogravimetric experiments using Fe2O3, Fe3O4 and FeO it could be shown that the reduction is a three-step process. The maximum reduction rate can be achieved with a hydrogen content of 25 %. Based on the experimental results a reaction mechanism and accompanied kinetic data were developed for description of Fe2O3 reduction with H2 under varying experimental conditions.

Funding source: This work was performed within the cluster project Clean Circles. Financial support by the Strategy Fund of the KIT Presidium is gratefully acknowledged.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Germany

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