Delft-based Ore Energy exits stealth mode with €10M; unveils battery based on only iron, water and air

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Delft-based Ore Energy, a science startup spun out of TU Delft, announced on Thursday that it has emerged from stealth with €10M funding from Positron Ventures and SPRIND.

The Dutch company will use the funds to plan the large-scale production of its battery, which is based on only iron, water, and air.

What does Ore Energy solve?

Iron-air batteries, although invented decades ago, have historically faced significant challenges in cost, rechargeability, and efficiency, hindering their practical application until now.

As the world seeks to transition away from fossil-based energy, extensive wind and solar energy infrastructure is being developed. However, these renewable energy sources are intermittent, often failing to generate energy when it is most needed. 

In Europe, up to 60 per cent of renewable energy capacity goes unused on sunny and windy days. This results in the reliance on fossil-based energy resources such as coal or gas to meet electricity demands when renewable sources are unavailable. 

Consequently, 140 TWh of low-cost, long-duration energy storage is projected to be needed by 2040 to ensure a continuous match between supply and demand.

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Here’s where Ore Energy comes into play! 

Ore Energy: Developing a new generation multi-day energy storage system

Led by Dr. Ir. Aytac Yilmaz, Ore Energy‘s batteries have the potential to reduce the cost of long-duration energy storage by 10 times compared to currently used lithium batteries. 

The battery technology has been developed using the process of rusting and unrusting of metallic iron to store energy. This technology relies solely on abundant materials such as iron, water, and air.

The fundamental principle of the technology is based on a well-known chemical reaction: rusting and unrusting. 

During the discharge phase, the metallic iron undergoes oxidation (rusting), leading to the emission of electrons and the generation of an electrical current. 

On the contrary, during the charging phase, an electrical current is applied to reverse the rust back into metallic iron.

What sets the company’s technology apart is its fully scalable modular design. 

Comprising easily interlocking building blocks, this battery system offers a plug-and-play energy storage solution that can be effortlessly deployed at any location and scale, from MWh to GWh.

According to the company, it has numerous advantages, including 

  • Extremely cost-effective
  • 100 hours of storage duration
  • Utilises abundant materials
  • Safe without risk of fire
  • Easily scalable

Dr. Ir. Aytac Yilmaz, CEO and co-founder of Ore Energy, says, “With our iron-air battery, we harness the everyday process of rusting to provide energy. In our technology, we make rusting and unrusting processes fully reversible to enable ultra-low-cost long-duration energy storage, utilising abundant raw materials.” 

“I think that these scientific advances can provide the missing piece of an energy system to be completely based on renewables. Our innovation also fosters resilience in the supply chain, reducing reliance on imported critical raw materials and strengthening Europe’s energy and raw material independence,” adds Yilmaz. 

The investor

‍Positron Ventures provides support and funding to Europe-based scientist-entrepreneurs working on ambitious projects aimed at improving planetary health. 

The company offers pre-seed investments and comprehensive support to teams working on breakthrough innovations in the natural sciences, helping them address significant global challenges from the early stages of their ventures.

Joseph Peeraer, founding partner of Positron Ventures, says, “To make renewables abundant, we need much cheaper long-duration energy storage, to cover the issue of intermittency. Ore Energy is built on a scientific breakthrough that enables the full reversibility of rusting – and they have shown to be able to build very low-cost batteries based on that.”

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Vigneshwar Ravichandran

Vigneshwar has been a News Reporter at Silicon Canals since 2018. A seasoned technology journalist with almost a decade of experience, he covers the European startup ecosystem, from AI and Web3 to clean energy and health tech. Previously, he was a content producer and consumer product reviewer for leading Indian digital media, including NDTV, GizBot, and FoneArena. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Electronics and Instrumentation in Chennai and a Diploma in Broadcasting Journalism in New Delhi.

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