Manufacturing News

American researchers create steel without carbon emissions

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have engineered a way to make high-purity steel without producing carbon emissions.

The ABC and others report that molten oxide eloctrolysis (MOE), an electrometallurgical technique, was found to be able to extract oxygen from lunar soil with steel – but no greenhouse gases – created as a by-product.

The MIT team was led by Donald Sadoway, a materials chemistry professor, who received a NASA grant to research oxygen creation on the moon. A paper by the team and published this month in Nature details their application of MOE.

The process developed by Sadoway was successfully trialled on an asteroid impact crater in Arizona, according to the team’s paper. It has not been tested on a mass-production scale.

It is estimated that the 1.5 billion tonnes of steel produced a year contribute 5 per cent of the world’ greenhouse gases.

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