A company claims to be able to obtain steel without polluting with CO2

Amador Palacios
2 min readFeb 2, 2023

Obtaining steel is one of the most polluting industrial processes. The process starts with iron ore and coke that are heated to 1,600 ºC to obtain the iron, and in doing so, they are expelled large amounts of CO2. And later, starting from iron, steel can be obtained.

But it is obtaining iron that pollutes the most, and I have read that a company called Electra (you can see their website https://www.electra.earth/ ) claims to have an electrochemical process, with which starting from iron ore , high purity iron can be obtained at low temperature (60 degrees), and without generating pollution.

I hope this is true, but it seems too good to believe without seeing it. And that is why I am commenting on it, because if it were true it would be a huge advance in obtaining steel, which is one of the materials we use the most throughout the world, and one of the materials that pollutes our environment the most with carbon dioxide.

The diagram below explains the Electra process in a very schematic way:

In the industrial process iron ore enters and renewable energy is used, and what results is: oxygen, traces of minerals that are useless, and iron plates with a purity greater than 99.9%. And (according to Electra) this is achieved at a temperature of only 60 ºC and at prices that are competitive with current ones.

I suppose that the people of Electra will have their industrial process quite well controlled, and they are already having strong injections of money from investors, as well as contacts with many interested companies. They announce that a pilot plant will be operational in Boulder (Colorado) throughout the year 2023.

I haven’t been able to get much more detailed information, so I have some doubts about what they post, but I think they would have to be pretty dumb to try to fool the world of the iron industry.

That is why I want to be positive and think that they have an ace up their sleeve to be able to renew an industry as old as the manufacturing of iron and steel.

There are many interests involved, and it is in everyone’s interest that Electra’s process be a success. Hopefully there will be industrial results as soon as possible.

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Amador Palacios

I am an electronic engineer with more than 40 years working in industry. I like to reflect on Technological and Social issues