Researchers at the George Washington University have developed a revolutionary CO2-free method of producing iron that could provide a breakthrough for an industry that has been using the same highly polluting process of iron smelting for more than three thousand years. By using renewable solar energy and a process of solar conversion called Solar Thermal Electrochemical Photo (STEP) energy conversion Dr. Licht is able to easily extract pure metal iron from the two prevalent iron ores hematite and magnetite without emitting carbon dioxide. Today the commercial iron industry emits an estimated 6.8 trillion tons or about 25% of entire world’s carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.
• No atmospheric release of CO2 • Reduction of existing atmospheric levels of CO2 • Cost effective process • Fuel generation as side products which may be used effectively in variety of other industrial applications. • Solidified carbon formed in the process • Industrial plants can be set up in new geographic locations even close to urban centers or places with sunlight