Did you know steel is the number one industrial source of climate pollution? To make steel, iron ore is first mined from the ground. It’s then smelted in blast furnaces where the impurities are removed and carbon is added. The product and process releases a huge amount of carbon dioxide into the air. According to a recent paper in Science, steel pumps around 1.7 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the world’s atmosphere each year which adds up to 5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.
Now imagine the world’s largest source of climate pollution can be converted to one of the cleanest greenhouse-gas emissions industry? It’s a real possibility.
A company by the name of Boston Metal, an MIT spinoff, is testing the use of efficient, non-polluting production of steel with the use of electricity instead of carbon to process raw iron ore. It’s a revolutionary technology known as molten oxide electrolysis or MOE. Specifically, Boston metal uses an electrolytic cell which is closer to a batter, that employs electricity (rather than carbon) to process the raw iron ore.
The company just finished it’s first batch of steel processing using MOS instead of a blast furnace. Now, its future success is based on it being scalable at an industrial level and to keep it cheap.
The nine-person company has been working on this novel approach to metal making for six ing years. Based on finalizing another funding campaign, Boston Metal wants to build a large demonstration facility and develop an industrial-scale cell for steel production.
(FYI: According to their website, Boston Metal was formed with the goal of commercializing the MOE technology developed in the laboratories of Professor Donald Sadoway at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Founded in 2012, Boston Metal is located in Woburn, Massachusetts, USA, with Tadeu Carneiro as CEO, Richard Bradshaw as VP of Technology, and Donald Sadoway as Chief Scientific Advisor.)