New Method for Low-Cost Titanium Production
The present work deals with the investigation of an electrolytic method for titanium production that uses TiO2 enriched titania slag as raw material. The process involves two steps: i) carbothermal reduction of the slag to form titanium oxycarbide powder; and ii) electrolysis in a molten chloride-based electrolyte using a titanium oxycarbide consumable anode. Electrochemical studies show the stability of the different Ti species in the equimolar NaCl-KCl melt at 850oC. These results, together with previous work about the anodic oxidation mechanism of a consumable titanium oxycarbide anode in molten chlorides, allow us to optimize the anode and cathode voltages in the electrolysis experiments. The results show that best quality titanium deposits are obtained when the reduction occurs in a single electrochemical step, i.e. directly from di-valent titanium species to Ti metal. Then, the complete conversion of the Ti(III) ions released from the consumable oxycarbide anode to Ti(II) species by adding Ti sponge to the electrolyte, must be fulfilled.
M. Ashraf Imam, F. H. Froes, Kevin F. Dring
A. M. Martinez et al., "New Method for Low-Cost Titanium Production", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 436, pp. 41-53, 2010