The threat of classic titanium production
At present, the production industry of titanium based on the technology restores tetrachloride with magnesium produces titanium sponge.
Due to the strong pollution by chlorides of sodium and other impurities, it is necessary to conduct refining in vacuum. Everyone is aware of the shortage and high cost of these processes, which are required to produce the final product. Now scientists are working on the development of more low cost production technology.
In the media it was reported that Cambridge University (UK) opened the process of obtaining titanium, which is called revolutionary. If it will find application in a global industrial scale, it will lead to a reduction in the cost of titanium and its future development in all industries.
It is expected that this discovery will solve the problems of the process of electrolytic enrichment of titanium (projected another Krall). The main innovation of the new so-called FFC-Cambridge process (named for Derek Frey (Derek Fray), George Chen (George Chen) and Tom Penny (Tom Farthing) is the electrolysis of titanium dioxide in the form of cathodes, in the electrolyte of molten sodium chloride. Titan is formed in a stable form at the temperature of 900C°, at this point, the cathode loses oxygen.
Lately there is a tendency of the pursuit of licenses for patents on this process. Pilot plants give dozens of pounds of titanium on a daily basis, but the study included a number of the firm. American Agency of perspective research projects of the defense sector is allocated 12.5 million dollars. the consortium led by Timet for the implementation of the FFC process in commercial production. Also in the consortium include Cambridge University British Titanium, as well as Boeing, General Electric, Pratt & Whitney, United Defense and the University of California at Berkeley. The reason for this activity is the opportunity to reduce the cost of production of titanium and reduce its dependence on supplies from Russia.
There is no clear assessment of the prospects of the process, but Russian companies in production of titanium (VSMPO/AVISMA) is clearly necessary to develop further, not to stop.
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