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Steel Production

Steel is produced from iron ore through a series of chemical reactions. These chemical reactions are occurring on a large scale with more than 700 million tonnes of steel produced every year.

The reactions are still explained at the tiny scale of losing and gaining electrons and the making and breaking of chemical bonds.

Steel is a mixture of iron and carbon. Iron ore is mined and fed into a blast furnace where it is reduced to metallic pig-iron. The iron atoms in iron ore are bound to oxygen atoms. These bonds are broken in the blast furnace and the iron gains electrons to become metallic iron. The impurities in the iron are then oxidised so they can be removed. For example, silicon loses electrons as it binds to oxygen to form silicon dioxide. Once the impurities have been removed, metals such as aluminium or nickel may be added to make the steel stronger or more heat resistant.

Steel making
magnifySteel making
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