Steel is produced at ArcelorMittal Gent on Sept. 5, 2007 in Ghent, Belgium. Credit: Mark Renders/Getty Images Inside Clean Energy One of the greatest challenges in the fight against climate change is figuring out a clean way to make steel. We’re talking about a skyscraper-sized challenge with foundational stakes, because steel is essential for our economy but it is also responsible for 8 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, according to one estimate . So it’s a huge deal that the world’s largest steel company, ArcelorMittal, said last week that it is setting a target of net-zero emissions by 2050. "If the world is to achieve net-zero by 2050 it will require all parts of the economy in all regions of the world to contribute," Aditya Mittal, ArcelorMittal’s president and chief financial officer said last week at the Financial Times Commodities Conference. The most common process for making steel uses a blast furnace followed by a "basic oxygen" furnace. In the blast furnace, extremely hot air is injected into a continuous feed of iron ore, purified coal and lime. This removes oxygen from the iron and imbues the iron with carbon, producing "pig iron" or raw iron. The pig […]

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