SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

 
vol.109 issue8Activated alumina-based adsorption and recovery of excess fluoride ions subsequent to calcium and magnesium removal in base metal leach circuitsCatalyst management author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X

J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. vol.109 n.8 Johannesburg Aug. 2009

 

JOURNAL PAPER

 

A critical evaluation of processes to produce primary titanium

 

 

D.S. van Vuuren

MSM, CSIR, Pretoria, South Africa

 

 


SYNOPSIS

Over the last 60 years many different processes were conceived to reduce the cost of titanium produced by the Kroll process. However, success eluded all previous efforts, which were consequently terminated in periods of economic downturn. Recently, the growth in demand for titanium and the high cost of producing the metal again sparked renewed attempts in various parts of the world to replace the antiquated Kroll process with a more efficient route.
The different options to produce titanium are reviewed, classified and evaluated in terms of the fundamentals underlying the technologies, and it is shown that the options considered to be the most likely to replace the Kroll process, are continuous processes to reduce TiCl4 metallo-thermically to titanium powder. Of these, continuous magnesio-thermic reduction of TiCl4 would conceptually result in the lowest-cost and highest-value product. However, when considering by-product salt removal from the titanium product and recycling of the salt as well, sodio-thermic reduction of TiCl4is better.


 

 

“Full text available only in PDF format”

 

 

References

1. TURNER, P.C., HARTMAN, A, HANSEN, J.S., and GERDEMANN, S.J. Low Cost Titanium - Myth or Reality, http://www.osti.gov/bridge/servlets/purl/899609-PMSrtc/899609.PDF, DOE/ARC-2001-086 .         [ Links ]

2. FROES, F.H. The Production of Low-cost Titanium Powders, JOM, September 1998.         [ Links ]

3. EHK TECHNOLOGIES, Summary of Emerging Titanium Cost Reduction Technologies, A Study Performed For US Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Subcontract 4000023694, December 2003.         [ Links ]

4. FROES, F.H., GUNGOR, M.N., and IMAN, M.A. Cost Afforable Titanium-An Update, Innovations in Titanium, M.N. Gungor, M.A. Iman and F.H. Froes, (eds.). The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, 2007.         [ Links ]

5. MCQUILLAN, A.D. and MCQUILLAN, M.K. Metallurgy of the Rarer Metals No. 4, Titanium, Butterworths Scientific Publications, London, 1956.         [ Links ]

6. CARDARELLI, F. A Method for Electrowinning of Titanium Metal or Alloy from Titanium Oxide Containing Compound in the Liquid State, International Patent Application, Publication No. WO03046258, 5 Jun. 2003.         [ Links ]

7. HILL, R. Massive Titanium Reserves found in Australia, The A to Z of Materials, http://www.azom.com/Details.asp?ArticleID=930.         [ Links ]

8. PRETORIUS, G. A Method to Produce Titanium, International Patent Application, Publication No. WO2006/079887, 3 Aug. 2006.         [ Links ]

9. REGAN, J.G. Albany Titanium Looks to Liquidate its Assets, American Metal Market, 19 Dec. 1988.         [ Links ]

10. MEGY, J.A. Process for Making Titanium Metals from Titanium Ore, US Patent 4,468,248, 28 Aug. 1984.         [ Links ]

11. O'DONNELL, T.A., BESSIDA, J., PONG, T.K.H., and WOOD, D.G. Process for the Production of Metallic Titanium and Intermediates Useful in the Processing of Ilmenite and Related Minerals, US Pat 5,397,375, 14 Mar. 1995.         [ Links ]

12. NORTON WHEEL COMPANY LTD, Process and Apparatus for the Electrolytic Extraction of Titanium Metal, Brit Pat 786,460, 20 Nov. 1957.         [ Links ]

13. WITHERS J.C. and LOUTFY, R.O. A New Novel Electrolytic Process to Produce Titanium, The 19th Annual Titanium Conference of the International Titanium Association, Monterey, October 13-15, 2003.         [ Links ]

14. VAN VUUREN, D.S. Thermodynamic Implications on the Design of a Process to Reduce Titanium Tetrahalides, South African Chemical Engineering Congress, 3-5 Sept. 2003, Sun City.         [ Links ]

15. GINATTA, M.V. Extractive Metallurgy of Primary Titanium, The 19th Annual Conference of the International Titanium Association, Monterey, October 13-15, 2003.         [ Links ]

16. PRISCU, J.C. Electrolytic Cell for the Production of Titanium, US Pat 3,282,822, May 20, 1963.         [ Links ]

17. FRAY, D.J., FARTHING, T.W., and CHEN, Z. Removal of Oxygen from Metal Oxides and Solid Solutions by Electrolysis in Fused Salt, US Pat Application Publication 2004/01559 A1, 19 Aug. 2004.         [ Links ]

18. LAU, K., HILDENBRAND, D., THIERS, E., KRISHNAN, G., ALVAREZ, E., SHOCKEY, D., DUBOIS, L., and SANJURJO, A., Direct Production of Titanium and Titanium Alloys, The 19th Annual Conference of the International Titanium Association, Monterey, October 13-15, 2003.         [ Links ]

19. YAMAGUCHI, M., OGASAWARA, T., and ICHIHASHI, H. Development of New Titanium Production Process in Sumitomo Titanium Corporation, The 11th World Conference on Titanium, Kyoto, Japan, 3-7 June 2007.         [ Links ]

20. SEON, F. and NATAF, P. Production of Metals by Metallothermia, US Pat 4,725,312, 16 Feb. 1988.         [ Links ]

21. UK DEPT. FOR BUSINESS, ENTERPRISE AND REGULATORY REFORM, Industrial Electricity Prices in the EU and the G7 Countries, http://stats.berr.gov.uk/energystats/qep531.xls.         [ Links ]

22. METALPRICES.com, http://www.metalprices.com/FreeSite/metals/mg/mg.asp, 28 September 2008.         [ Links ]

23. UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION, In the Matter of: Sodium metal from France, Investigation No.: 731-TA-1135 (Preliminary), 13 November 2007, http://www.usitc.gov/trade_remedy/731_ad_701_cvd/investigations/2007/sodium_metal_from_france/preliminary/PDF/Sodium%20Metal%20(Prelim)%20Vote.pdf.         [ Links ]

24. MCCUTCHEON, B. Calcium Metal, Canadian Minerals Yearbook, 2002, http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/mms/cmy/content/2002/16.pdf.         [ Links ]

25. OBER, J.A. Lithium, U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries, vol. 2, 1997.         [ Links ]

26. JASKULA, B.W. Lithium (Advanced Release), USGS 2007 Minerals Yearbook, Aug. 2008.         [ Links ]

27. GRJOTHEIM, K., KVANDE, H., QINGFENG, L. and ZHUXIAN, Q. Metal production by molten salt electrolysis especially aluminium and magnesium, China University of Mining and Technology Press, 1998.         [ Links ]

28. The Encyclopedia of Electrochemistry, Hampel, C. (ed.), New York, Reinhold Publishing Co., 1964.         [ Links ]

29. MANTEL, C.L. Electrochemical Engineering, McGraw-Hill, 1960.         [ Links ]

30. ROSKILL INFORMATION SERVICES, The Economics of Titanium, Fourth Edition, 2007        [ Links ]

31. FROES, F.H. Developments in Titanium P/M, http://www.webs1.uidaho.edu/imap/MPR%20Paper.pdf.         [ Links ]

32. WELLWOOD, G. Low Cost Titanium Powder Processes to Facilitate Near Net Shape Manufacture, The 22nd Annual Conference of the International Titanium Association, San Diego, October 1-3, 2006.         [ Links ]

33. Titanium: Past, Present and Future, Report of the Panel on the Assessment of Titanium: Current and Future Needs of the Committee on Technical Aspects of Critical and Strategic Materials, National Materials Advisory Board, Publication NMAB-392, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1983.         [ Links ]

34. DOMBROWSKI, H.S. Production of High-Purity, Ductile Titanium Powder, US Pat 2,984,560, 16 May 1961.         [ Links ]

35. LELAND, J.D. Aerosol Reduction Process for Metal Halides, US Pat 5,460,642, 24 Oct. 1995.         [ Links ]

36. DROZDENKO, V.A., PETRUNKO, A.M., ANDREEV, A.E., YATSENKO, O.P., IVASISHIN, O.M., DAVVAKIN, D.G., MOXSON, V.S. and FROES, F.H. Manufacture of Cost-Effective Titanium Powder from Magnesium Reduced Sponge, US Pat 6,638,336, 28 Oct. 2003.         [ Links ]

37. OKURA, Y. Titanium Sponge Production Technology, 8th World Conference on Titanium, Birmingham, England, 1995.         [ Links ]

38. SUZUKI, R.O. and ONO, K. OS Process-A New Calciothermic Reduction of TiO2 in the Molten CaO, The 18th Annual Titanium Conference of the International Titanium Association, Orlando, October 7, 2002.         [ Links ]

39. VAN VUUREN, D.S., ENGELBRECHT, A.D., and HADLEY, T.D. Electrowinning Molten Titanium from Titanium Dioxide, JOM, vol. 57, October 2005. p. 53.         [ Links ]

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License