When I read this news in a scientific medium of the University of Eindhoven, I was surprised and pleased at the same time. I was pleased to see that the researchers approach their work with great freedom not burdened down by preconceived ideas, to seek new solutions for the future.
A big problem with renewable energy is storing the energy that is generated and not consumed at the time it is generated. Means are required to store large amounts of energy, and that is not easy.
The solution provided by these researchers is to use iron powder as a battery. Iron dust would be generated with the excess energy generated, to later “burn” that dust and generate energy in the form of heat.
The advantage is that after being burned, this powder leaves a few remains of oxidized powder that can again be converted into a new iron powder by means of a hydrogenation that extracts the oxide from the oxidized powder.
And so on.
The idea may be feasible since iron dust is easily transportable, wherever it is needed, and they are testing turbines that can generate between 1 and 10 Mwatt. of power.
This is a low power for a power plant, but several of them could be placed in places close to population centers that need that energy. And in the future who knows…
The important thing is that in all these cycles no type of CO2 is generated, and non-polluting energy is obtained.
It is encouraging to see the number of new technological alternatives that are being developed in all fields.
The “problem” is that they work against time, and it is very possible that the time of not destroying our natural environment has passed.
A pity, but that does not mean we have to stop trying.