KArlsruhe Liquid Metal LAboratory, KALLA

Warmly welcome at the web pages of Karlsruhe Liquid Metal Laboratory KALLA. With these pages, we want to give you an impression of our work.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you have any questions:



Our work focuses on the following topics:

Thermal hydraulics of liquid metals

At the Karlsruhe Liquid Metal Laboratory (KALLA), various experiments are carried out in order to characterize and better understand the physics of flow and heat transfer in molten metals, which differ significantly from those of conventional liquids like water or air. The experiments reach from generic arrangements to complex geometries from real world applications, for example liquid metals as heat transfer fluids in concentrating solar power plants.

At KALLA, the test fluids lead, lead-bismuth, sodium and eutectic indium-gallium-tin mixtures are used in several liquid metal loops, from lab to pilot scale. Comprehensive liquid metal-specific measuring equipment is being qualified and developed at KALLA.  more


High temperature thermal storage systems

Energy storage systems can provide energy on-demand and balance fluctuating renewable energy sources. In concentrating solar power plants, for example, solar energy is converted into thermal energy, which can then be stored in a thermal energy storage system. The energy stored in this system is then converted into electricity via a connected steam power process at a later time. By using liquid metals heat can be stored at temperatures above 600 °C, which are typical for energy-intensive high-temperature industrial processes. At KALLA, the cyclic behaviour of a pilot-scale thermocline storage system with lead-bismuth and an integrated packed bed will be examined. more


Process technology with liquid metals

Liquid metals are particularly suitable as heat transfer and process fluids for chemical processes because of their special physical and excellent heat transfer properties. At KALLA reaction mechanisms and reactor concepts are studied, bubble and fluid dynamics are investigated and product analyses are carried out for various applications. The fields of application range from the CO2-free production of hydrogen in a liquid metal bubble column, the water-free synthesis of formaldehyde for synthetic fuels via a catalytic reaction with sodium vapour up to the production of carbon black from atmospheric CO2. more


KIT Junior Research Group "Liquid metal-based heat storage - key to CO2-free high-temperature processes"

In the KIT junior research group of Dr. Klarissa Niedermeier, heat storage systems based on liquid metals are developed. The work ranges from concept development based on theoretical considerations to experimental tests on pilot scale. The scientific investigations focus on the one hand on modeling the thermal processes in the heat accumulator and their experimental validation and on the other hand on the investigation of circuit components in the moving liquid metal at elevated temperatures. more


Are you interested in a research stay in our facility? We are an infrastructure of the H2020 project StoRIES and therefore, you have the possibility to visit us via an application for a Trans National Access. Please contact Dr. Klarissa Niedermeier for further information (klarissa.niedermeier∂kit.edu).


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Wetzel
Tel. +49 721/608-46447