Tal Aviv Israel based Helios announced that its ambition to create an emission-free future for the steel industry will be fueled by USD 6 million in capital, thanks to a seed round led by At One Ventures, the net positive to nature investment firm, and Doral Energy-Tech Ventures. Deep tech investor Metaplanet and a global Top 5 mining company are also participating in the round. Helios Founder & CEO Mr Jonathan Geifman said “On the moon we don't have the luxury of using carbon for energy, and you also have to be extremely efficient. You cannot waste or emit anything. The extraterrestrial environment really pushes your R&D to the extreme. You cannot be iterative; you must reinvent processes entirely. That is how we came up with this completely novel method of extraction that we soon realized would be beneficial for life on earth as well.”Israel Space Agency at the Ministry of Innovation, Science & Technology Director Mr Uri Oron said “It's fascinating to me that while Helios was focused on creating technologies to further sustainable Moon missions and habitation, literally taking its moonshot, they stumbled across this brand-new process to benefit life on earth. This is a great example of the close connection between space technology and its impact on our lives here on Earth.”Current methods of steel production emit large quantities of CO2 through the reduction of iron ore with carbon. For every tonne of steel, approximately 2 tonnes of CO2 are emitted, making the industry responsible for 8% of humanity's carbon footprint. Additionally, the US steel industry relies on natural gas and coal coke and breeze for fuel, accounting for roughly 6% of total energy consumed by manufacturing.Helios original goal is to produce oxygen to sustain recurring missions to the moon by producing it on site. Their proprietary technology extracts oxygen from lunar regolith, the mixture of powdery dust and broken rock on the surface of the moon. Helios scientists discovered that the technology created for the reactor built to extract oxygen and iron from regolith could also be used to extract 99% pure iron from iron ore, using an entirely novel chemical process. The method requires 50% less energy than what is currently used in the industry, while operating at temperatures so low that a household oven will suffice to initiate the process. In addition to the energy cost reduction, the process also eliminates 100% of the direct CO2 emissions. Using renewable energy to heat the system will make the whole process carbon free. Unlike other green steel technologies, Helios does not require steelmakers to dramatically alter their existing processes. The company is designing a module that can be integrated into Direct Reduction of Iron furnaces. This approach will reduce cost and facilitate faster adoption.