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North Brabant, Netherlands



Mark Verhagen

CEO, Renewable Iron Fuel Technology (RIFT)

Mark Verhagen joins Breakthrough Energy’s Innovator Fellows program from RIFT in the Netherlands. He is committed to combining his technical, business, and social skills to develop and commercially implement novel clean-energy technologies in order to decarbonize energy-intensive industries. At RIFT, Mark and his colleagues are leveraging hydrogen and the rusting properties of iron to produce carbon-neutral energy for heat-intensive industries. Especially, for situations in which hydrogen use and electrification are not an option.

Rusting, or combustion, of iron fuel with heat produced with clean hydrogen yields zero-carbon heat that can be turned into hot water, steam, or hot air and fed to energy-intensive industries. The resulting rust can be easily stored and transported, then turned back into iron fuel through a chemical reaction with hydrogen and reused. Through the BE Fellows program, RIFT aims to advance their boiler and production systems to a fully functional prototype to demonstrate viability of a commercial pilot plant.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Avans University in Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. He attained a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology.


What is your favorite word?
Dedication – I believe a dedicated team makes the impossible possible.

Who had the greatest impact on your career?
My parents.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
“Keep it simple”