Comparison of the industrial production of iron (left) and the STEP CO2 free production of iron (right) presented in this study. The new process can utilize renewable or nuclear power to drive iron formation, and then is CO2 free. The new process alternatively can also be driven by fossil fuel electrical power, which as described in the text generates less CO2 than the carbothermic process.

Image Credit: Pro. S. Licht, George Washington University.

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1 Comment so far

  1. jp straley on August 31, 2010 5:04 AM

    As always, the separation step is critical.

    People have been working on electrolytic reduction of Al (without carbon electrodes) for years. Maybe Licht has some ideas for that. The current process has drawbacks….fluorine production and plenty of CO2. Working with molten baths of salts (similar to the aluminum production setup) is tricky and energy intensive.

    The key is the drop in reduction potential with temp…a very interesting finding. Do we find this as well with alumina?


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