Home News New venture IRON+ to build first fully commercial plant ever on iron power
Publication: 5 september 2022

New venture IRON+ to build first fully commercial plant ever on iron power
for beerbrewer Royal Swinkels Family Brewers

On Sept 5, 2022, IRON+ and Swinkels Family Brewers signed a letter-of-intent to build the first fully operational commercial MegaWatt size plant ever operating on Iron Power for supplying sustainable process heat for the brewing process of Swinkels Family Brewers in the coming 20 years. 

Iron Power is a relatively new technology to store and import massive amounts of sustainable energy (click here for vision documents). Iron powder is burnt to iron oxide powder in a boiler to produce steam. After combustion, the iron oxide powder is regenerated back to iron powder using hydrogen, ultimately derived from solar & wind energy at places with a vast surplus of sustainable energy. Iron powder can store energy in a very compact, cheap, safe, environmental friendly and CO2 free way. This unique combination makes it a very important solution in the energy transition of the heat intensive industry. 

Two years ago, the Metal Power Consortium consisting of parties like TU Eindhoven, Metalot, Studentteam SOLID, EMGroup, HeatPower and Romico Hold, already performed a succesfull first demonstration of the technology for a few weeks at the Bavaria brewery in Lieshout, one of the breweries of Swinkels Family Brewers to produce CO2-free beer for the first time. Guy Willems from EMGroup: “During a two-year improvement and testing phase since that time, the technology has matured and the system efficiency has been enhanced. The combustion is not only CO2 free, it promises also to have very low NOx and particle emissions, which is also of key importance. As far as we know this would be the first comercial iron power system in the world.” 

IRON+ now makes the next move. IRON+ is a joint venture between the three companies EMGroup, Pometon and Metalot. Prof. Philip de Goey from Metalot: “The three parties from IRON+ together combine all knowledge and experience needed to deliver fully-operational combustion equipment, regeneration equipment and iron powder technology for making Iron Power into a success”. So, IRON+ is now ready to build and sell its first commercial plant. Rudi Clayton, CEO of Pometon: “Production of iron powder and the industrial reduction is in our genes for decades. This off-the-shelf technology is currently improved within the IRON+ company for green energy applications.” 

In the coming 12-18 months, the current testing phase of the boiler will be completed, the regeneration technology will be finalised in the Metalot Future Energy Lab, the contracts between companies will be formalised, a final short demo will be organised at one of the  sites of Swinkels Family Brewers before the building phase of the commercial plant will start. Peer Swinkels, CEO of Swinkels Family Brewers: “We already had a lot of confidence in the potential of the Iron Power technology and the iron power consortium, but it is very important for us that the complete process is fully circular, so more research was needed. Now we know that regeneration is possible in a green way, we can go forward. As the new company IRON+ has been established now, we are extremely proud and happy to be the first in the world to be able to adapt this technology for our future brewing process. This is one of the corner stones of the master plan we are carrying through currently to be fully circular in the years to come. We need more than one solution for our energytransition, in the end we need several solutions and this could be an important one.”


"The Metalot effort is made possible in part by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Province of North Brabant within the framework of OPZuid project Living Lab Metal Power."

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