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Re: [Phys-L] substitute for coal (carbon) in smelting

On 2/19/20 8:42 PM, bernard cleyet asked about:

I have several observations, some of which may sound like
criticisms but really aren't.

1) This work is not finished. Indeed it is barely begun.
That's OK. Everything has to start somewhere. Preliminary
results are better than no results.

I do not want people to wait until the work is finished to
show it to me. I like to see the preliminary results.

2) This is really "out there". I mean that as a compliment.
High risk, potentially high reward.

3) There are probably 100 things wrong with this idea. That's
OK. That's barely even relevant. The question is, are the
bugs fixable. My guess is yes, probably, but you won't know
until you do the experiments.

4) This is all rather theoretical so far. It's time to do
some experiments. It would take a squillion dollars to
build a full-size experimental smelter, so build a tiny
prototype instead. A tiny one will not be efficient, but
that is the least of your worries. Start small; find and
fix the bugs. If the prototype is properly instrumented,
you can predict the behavior of the larger version(s).

5) Even if it turns out to be uneconomical as a way of making
steel (which is by definition an alloy of iron and carbon),
it might still find a viable niche in connection with zero-
carbon iron alloys such as invar, or other specialty alloys.