U.S. Department of Energy Announces $35 Million to Decarbonize Domestic Iron and Steel Production

New Program Aims to Develop Zero Emissions Ironmaking & Ultra-Low Life Cycle Emissions Steelmaking

Press and General Inquiries:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced up to $35 million in funding to support a new program to enable zero-process-emission ironmaking and ultra-low life cycle emissions steelmaking. This program supports goals outlined by the Biden-Harris Administration to reduce emissions as well as reduce imports of iron and steel products. The transformative technologies funded through this program would be the first to meet both emissions and cost parity goals.

“Where there are challenges, ARPA-E sees opportunities. So, it should come as no surprise that since iron and steel production are widely recognized as among the most difficult industrial sectors to decarbonize, that’s where ARPA-E will direct our attention,” said ARPA-E Director Evelyn N. Wang. “ROSIE will contribute to meeting U.S. net-zero goals, as well as secure U.S. technical leadership in a critical manufacturing discipline and increase exportable technology for low-emissions iron and steelmaking.”

The iron and steel industry accounts for around 7% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 11% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and, by 2050, global iron and steel demand is projected to rise as much as 40%. Current blast furnace technologies—responsible for approximately 70% of global iron and steel GHG emissions—require carbon, which makes this sector particularly difficult to decarbonize.

The Revolutionizing Ore to Steel to Impact Emissions (ROSIE) program–managed by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)—seeks to revolutionize not just the iron or steelmaking process, but the entire supply chain from ore to final steel production. ROSIE seeks to fund the development and demonstration of novel technologies that produce iron-based products from iron-containing ores and alternative feedstocks without process emissions in the ironmaking step. Technologies funded through ROSIE must have the potential to achieve milestones including:

  • Cost parity with existing iron or steel products
  • Zero GHG emissions specifically from the ironmaking process
  • Ultra-low lifecycle GHG emissions emitted per tonne of iron or steel product
  • Process and product scalability and
  • Materials properties consistent with relevant current commercial products.

If successful, novel ironmaking technologies meeting the metrics set forth by ROSIE will enable a reduction of U.S. emissions by over 65 metric tonnes CO2 emitted annually (approximately 1% of U.S. emissions) and global emissions by over 2.9 gigatonnes annually (5.5% of global emissions).

You can visit the ARPA-E eXCHANGE website for information about the ROSIE program announced today, as well as instructions for how to apply.