The FFC-Cambridge Process for Titanium Metal Winning
The FFC-Cambridge process is a molten salt electrochemical deoxidation method that was invented at the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy of the University of Cambridge one decade ago. It is a generic technology that allows the direct conversion of metal oxides into the corresponding metals through cathodic polarisation of the oxide in a molten salt electrolyte based on calcium chloride. The process is rather universal in its applicability, and numerous studies on metals, semimetals, alloys and intermetallics have since been performed at the place of its invention and worldwide. The electro-winning of titanium metal is a particularly rewarding target because of the disadvantages of the existing extraction methods. This article summarises the research work performed on the FFC-Cambridge process at the University of Cambridge and its industrial partners with a focus on the electro-winning of titanium metal from titanium dioxide. Topics addressed encompass the invention of the process, early proof-of-concept work, the identification of the reaction pathway, and the investigation and optimisation of the key process parameters. Also discussed are aspects of technology transfer and some of the development work undertaken to date.
M. Ashraf Imam, F. H. Froes, Kevin F. Dring
C. Schwandt et al., "The FFC-Cambridge Process for Titanium Metal Winning", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 436, pp. 13-25, 2010