Environment and Energy

Electra Startup Secures Funding for Low-Temp Iron Production

Written by Becca Moczygemba

Green iron startup company Electra has raised $85 million to support its production of low-temperature iron (LTI). The process will utilize commercial and low-grade ores and zero-carbon electricity.

clean energyThe Boulder, Colo.- based company focuses on iron refining without a green premium and is backed by various organizations, including the Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Amazon, BHP Ventures and others.

During its process, iron ore is electrochemically refined into pure iron at 140 degrees Fahrenheit using renewable energy. “Our team, starting with a clean sheet, developed an electrochemical process to refine iron ore to high purity iron by radically lowering the process temperature from 1,600 to 60 degrees Celsius, replacing coal energy with intermittent renewable energy, and displacing commercial ores with lower-grade ores that are not being used or are currently treated as waste today. We also have a historic opportunity to decentralize the global iron and steel supply chain and re-shore manufacturing and mining jobs,” explained CEO Sandeep Nijhawan.

While the steel industry uses high quality scrap, Electra advisory board member Simon C. Wandke noted a shortage of low-impurity iron ore that’s sufficient enough to support the transition into decarbonizing the steel industry.

After recently opening a development facility in Boston, Electra plans to complete construction of a green-iron refining pilot plant at its headquarters in Boulder in 2023.

By Becca Moczygemba, Becca@SteelMarketUpdate.com

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