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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.111 n.3 Johannesburg  2011




In search of low cost titanium: The Fray Farthing Chen (FFC) Cambridge process



S.J. Oosthuizen

Materials Science and Manufacturing, CSIR, Pretoria




This article explores the Fray Farthing Chen (FFC) Cambridge process, a novel method for the electrochemical deoxidation of metal oxides in molten salt, discovered at the University of Cambridge in 1997. The process was hailed as a highly promising, potentially low cost, novel method for the production of titanium metal direct from its oxides. The article should inform researchers in the field of some of the challenges in the commercialization of a novel, high profile process involving multiple stakeholders. The author, former senior process engineer at British Titanium Plc, the company originally tasked with commercializing titanium production via the FFC Cambridge process, reviews the latest literature and discusses past and present progress in the pursuit of low cost titanium metal via this process. Topics explored include the history of the process, attempts at commercialization, NASA's alternative application, and present status of the process.

Keywords: FFC Cambridge, titanium, molten salt



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