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Dierk Raabe, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Iron Research (MPIE) in Düsseldorf, and scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge (United States) present numerous options for making metallic materials more climate-friendly in their review article published in Nature. Besides proposing measures that can be implemented quickly and with comparatively little effort, they also formulate long-term goals that can only be achieved with the help of comprehensive basic research.

Nowhere else in the world shows better than HANNOVER MESSE that practically nothing is possible in today's societies without metals. Some 1.7 billion metric tons of steel and 94 million metric tons of aluminum are currently produced each year. However, by 2050 the volume of metallic materials could double once again and even triple for some materials. As the metal production process is extremely energy-intensive, it generates high levels of CO2 emissions, thereby having a crucial impact on climate change. "We must reduce these industrial CO2 emissions," Raabe urges, "and the metals industry can make a significant contribution," he adds, highlighting one possible solution. To enable a reduction in CO2 emissions despite the growing demand for metallic materials, Raabe, together with MIT researchers C. Cem Tasan and Elsa A. Olivetti, describes five areas where industrial companies and researchers need to take action as quickly as possible. These areas are "More sustainability in production and processing", "The city as a mine: sorting and recycling," "Sustainable alloy design for recyclable materials", "Longer life thanks to corrosion protection and repeated use" and "Energy efficiency through lightweight construction and better temperature resistance".

Raabe and his fellow campaigners recognize that metallic materials are an indispensable part of everyday life nowadays. “Fortunately, we have numerous opportunities to make them fit for a sustainable and, above all, CO2-neutral economy." Many of these options will also be showcased at HANNOVER MESSE 2020, which is looking to use its focus on CO2-neutral production to play a key role in achieving climate neutrality and decarbonization.

Max Planck Institute for Iron Research (MPIE)