Stuart Licht of George Washington University has developed a new solar energy conversion process (Solar Thermal Electrochemical Photo) conversion process. “STEP generation of energetic molecules: A solar chemical process to end anthropogenic global warming,” .
We report a fundamental change in the understanding of iron oxide thermochemistry, opening a facile, new CO2-free route to iron production. The resultant process can eliminate a major global source of greenhouse gas emission, producing the staple iron in molten media at high rate and low electrolysis energy.
George Washington University Professor Stuart Licht has developed a revolutionary carbon dioxide-free method of producing iron that could provide a breakthrough for an industry that has been using the same polluting process of iron smelting for more than three thousand years. By using renewable solar energy and a process of solar conversion that he patented 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 2.4 billion (1.3 billion tons of steel at 1.7-.9 tons of CO2 per ton) tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.