Revolutionizing Ore to Steel to Impact Emissions

ARPA-E ROSIE Program Graphic

Release Date:
Project Count:

Program Description:

The iron and steel industry accounts for around 7% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 11% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. By 2050, global iron and steel demand is projected to rise as much as 40%. Already, between 2000 and 2022, global steel production more than doubled to 1,840 million tonnes (Mt). ROSIE aims to develop new technology pathways to enable zero direct process emissions in ironmaking (i.e., zero-process-emission ironmaking) and ultra-low life cycle emissions for steelmaking at scale.

The program will have two categories: A and B. Projects in Category A must describe a novel ironmaking process to produce an iron product. Projects in Category B must describe a novel ironmaking process that ultimately produces a specific steel product. All projects must account for the impact a given technology will have on supply chain, production of a final steel product, and overall emissions.

Innovation Need:

U.S. steel production was over 85 Mt in 2021 and accounted for greater than 5% of industry emissions. Iron and steel manufacturing is widely recognized as among the most difficult industrial sectors to decarbonize, owing both to the sheer tonnage of product and the dependence on carbon at every step of the process. Current blast furnace technologies—responsible for ~70% of global iron and steel GHG emissions—require carbon as a reductant, a materials additive, and a source of heat.

ROSIE projects will identify technologies that can make primary iron with equal or lower cost than the incumbent processes. Here, the incumbent process for making primary iron is traditional carbothermic blast furnace technology. Recent advances in electrolysis, plasma technology, and separations chemistry provide attractive opportunities, as do changes in U.S. feedstock economics, such as the availability of waste tailings for processing, domestic sourcing incentives, and the development of new mining technologies.

If successful, novel ironmaking technologies meeting ROSIE’s metrics will enable a reduction of U.S. emissions by over 65 Mt CO2 emitted annually, or ~1% of U.S. emissions, and global emissions by over 2.9 gigatonnes annually, or 5.5% of global emissions.

Potential Impact:

To develop low emissions ironmaking technologies that have the potential to scale to meaningful production levels at cost parity with existing technologies would have the following impacts:


Zero-emissions iron and steel production processes at cost-parity with traditional incumbent carbothermic blast furnace will increase security around domestic manufacturing processes for energy infrastructure.


Supplant traditional ironmaking routes to reduce emissions by over 65 Mt CO2 emitted annually (~1% of U.S. emissions).


Create the opportunity for the U.S. to recover technical leadership in a critical manufacturing discipline and to increase exportable technology for low-emissions iron and steelmaking.


Program Director:
Dr. Cory Phillips
Press and General Inquiries Email:

Project Listing