However unlikely, recent work regarding iron as a clean energy source has been encouraging and demonstrates that in areas where solar, wind, and hydrogen power aren’t possible or are too expensive, there can be an alternative renewable power source. Below, we’ll detail why burning iron for fuel could be the next big thing in renewable energy.
What is iron?
Iron is commonly thought of in two ways: as a vitamin and as a mineral that is converted to metal. It is found throughout our lives, most often in kitchen implements such as cast iron skillets and other metal implements. Iron can also be found in powdered form. In this form is how it is useful to creating renewable energy.
How does burning iron for fuel create renewable energy?
Referred to as the “circular economy of iron burning,” iron is burned and creates and improves combustion processes through a variety of means, including electrolysis. Following the successful high-heat combustion process, there is waste comprised of oxidized rust that can be recycled to create new energy in this circular energy creation process.
What are the advantages of iron and why hasn’t this been tried before?
Iron may be thought of as bulky and heavy but, as a powder, it is light and easily transportable. Iron as a source of renewable energy is possible almost anywhere with the right facilities. Although iron as renewable energy has been available for quite a while, traditional fossil fuels such as oil and coal have been more plentiful and cheaper, thus not requiring new ways of creating energy. Only with the need for renewable energy for both environmental and practical purposes has iron become another possible energy creator to meet the world’s energy needs.
Is iron as a renewable energy source possible in the short term or is this a longer-term strategy?
Iron as a source of renewable energy is a promising idea that is feasible for a small number of energy producers but, as of now, requires much more planning and a larger supply chain to make this a reality. As it stands, many facilities are not yet equipped to convert iron into energy and thus cannot take advantage of it.
Is this a positive development for renewable energy?
Although many do not immediately associate iron with renewable energy, burning iron for fuel could be the next big thing in renewable energy. The more good options governments and localities have, the more likely they will be to choose renewable energy going forward.