Making Metal Without Making An Awful Mess

Producing metal is a dirty business. Noxious sulfur, chlorine, or carbon gases spew from metalmaking furnaces. The air pollution comes from the way the metal is extracted: Ironmaking consumes a ton of carbon per ton of metal. And titanium is extracted using chloride salts and another metal, manganese. Now, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher has a process to yield high-quality metals, with just oxygen as its chief byproduct.

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