The production and use of green hydrogen are expected to play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change. Hydrogen produced from renewable sources such as wind or solar energy, is an essential building block of the metal fuel cycle
. In this cycle, metal particles such as iron are used as a fuel to generate high temperature heat, which can then be used to generate electricity or provide process heat. The metal particles are then regenerated through reduction of metal oxides, completing the cycle. To sustain this cycle on a global scale, the iron mass must be circulated smoothly, requiring overall equal rates of iron combustion and regeneration. The reduction technologies that are currently under investigation, i.e., fluidized-bed reactor with hydrogen gas and electrochemical reactor, both take tens of minutes to hours to reach full reduction. These technologies can hardly match the high combustion rate of iron powders, which convert Fe to Fe3O4 in less than a second. Therefore, a more rapid way to reduce iron-oxide fines must be explored.Reduction of iron oxide powder in suspension
, also known as flash ironmaking technology
, is an innovative process that promises significant improvements in iron production rate and energy efficiency. In this process, iron oxide particles are suspended in a gas stream, which serves as the reducing agent, causing reduction of the iron oxide particles to occur.
The objectives of this project are to develop a laboratory-scale, drop-tube hydrogen flash reactor
and use it to study the reduction behavior of iron-oxide particles at elevated temperatures
(> 1200 ℃).Project team
The supervisors for this project are prof. Xiaocheng Mi
and prof. Giulia Finotello
from the section Power and Flow. Prof. Mi is experienced in CFD and MD modeling for various combustion reactive systems. His research focuses on developing unconventional combustion technologies for clean energy applications. The research interests of Prof. Finotello include development of advanced experimental techniques and numerical tools to investigate multiphase reactive flows such as iron powder regeneration and combustion. You will be part of a highly profiled interdisciplinary team where the expertise of a variety of scientific fields comes together. TU/e is in one of the smartest regions of the world and part of the European technology hotspot 'Brainport Eindhoven', well-known high-tech industries and start-ups.