The industrial Midwest might not be the industrial Midwest if it weren’t for the iron-rich regions of northern Minnesota and Michigan. These iron ranges have long supplied domestic steelmakers, depleting the highest quality ore along the way. Now, a plant in Minnesota is testing a process to dramatically upgrade the low-grade ore that remains.
To understand why this matters, keep in mind how steelmaking has changed. The old recipe for steel calls for iron ore, coke and a blast furnace. But now, more than half of American steel is made in electric arc furnaces, which use electricity to melt scrap steel into new steel.
You can find those ingredients in your own kitchen or garage.