SIME sponsored University of Udine and AIST European Member Chapter event around MIT Professor Donald R. Sadoway’s lecture on “Innovation in Metals Extraction: Molten Oxide Electrolysis”

15 maggio 2018

The University of Udine and AIST European Member Chapter joined for a 2-days event in Udine on May 14th  and 15th. Locally based multi-national companies and international researchers working in the Iron and Steel sector met a wide and diversified audience: university students, professors, managers and researchers.

The aim of the event was to share important perspectives and results of recent scientific studies and processes focused on an environmentally friendly metal production as well as to introduce the next generation of practitioners to the sector opportunities.


The long-awaited moment was indeed the lecture held by Donald R. Sadoway’s, the John F. Elliott Professor of Materials Chemistry in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Quoting Professor Amon, Dean of the University of Toronto, Sadoway is indeed “an innovative, accomplished and committed to research, teaching and mentoring person; he seeks to establish the technologies required to make efficient use of energy and natural resources in an environmentally sound manner”.

Molten Oxide Electrolysis (MOE) was the key-point of his breakthrough presentation: “Innovation in Metals Extraction: Molten Oxide Electrolysis”. Professor Sadoway goes back to basics with MOE: a process emitting only products!

Along with his MIT team, he demonstrated the feasibility of producing emission-free steel as well as oxygen from a metal oxide feedstock using earth abundant and affordable metals, alloys in particular, as inert anode in high temperature electrolysis. Thus, he overcame the limitations of the process high cost and the fact it only works with consumable or highly expensive and rare anode materials.

A greener and cheaper way to produce metal of higher purity, while eliminating greenhouse gas emissions, reducing energy consumption and process cost, guaranteeing efficiency and flexibility in raw materials. Nonetheless, the technology may even be useful for producing oxygen as well as metals during extra-terrestrial exploration, for instance on missions to the Moon or Mars (In-Situ Resource Utilization project by NASA).


With MOE Professor Sadoway is paving the road towards the sustainable production of metals. Now the question is: are YOU ready to support and pursue revolutionary researches and innovations for positive and sustainable changes?


I’m proud to have been part of this unforgettable and inspiring moment for three main reasons:

  • first as a post-graduated student of the University of Udine and former student of Professor Miani who had been the leading mind behind the forum organization;
  • second as member of AIST EMC Executive Committee for having embraced this opportunity of networking, knowledge sharing and students involvement;
  • third as CEO of SIME S.r.l. that together with Quaker Chemical Corp. powered Tuesday reception, cocktail and gala dinner.