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An electrifying new ironmaking method could slash carbon emissions

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By illuminem briefings 🌎

· 2 min read


illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Science or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Scientists have developed a novel ironmaking process using electricity to convert iron ore and salt water into metallic iron and chemicals, potentially making the industry more eco-friendly by being carbon negative

🔭 The context: Traditional ironmaking produces significant CO2 emissions, contributing to 8% of global greenhouse gases
• This new method, powered by renewable energy, operates at low temperatures and could significantly reduce or even reverse these emissions

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The process could transform the iron and steel industry, cutting down one of the largest sources of industrial CO2 emissions and aiding in the fight against climate change

⏭️ What's next: While promising, the process faces challenges in scaling up and dealing with byproducts like chlorine gas. Researchers are exploring solutions, including using sodium hydroxide for purifying iron oxide and matching industrial needs for chlorine gas production

💬 One quote: "It checks all the boxes," says Karthish Manthiram, a chemical engineer at the California Institute of Technology, highlighting the method's compatibility with intermittent renewable electricity and low operational temperatures

📈 One stat: Ironmaking is responsible for as much CO2 emissions annually as the tailpipes of all passenger vehicles combined

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