Direct Titanium Production from Titanium Slag

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Salt Lake City, Utah
Project Term:
02/18/2014 - 09/30/2019

Technology Description:

The University of Utah is developing a reactor that dramatically simplifies titanium production compared to conventional processes. Today's production processes are expensive and inefficient because they require several high-energy melting steps to separate titanium from its ores. The University of Utah's reactor utilizes a magnesium hydride solution as a reducing agent to break less expensive titanium ore into its components in a single step. By processing low-grade ore directly, the titanium can be chemically isolated from other impurities. This design eliminates the series of complex, high-energy melting steps associated with current titanium production. Consolidating several energy intensive steps into one reduces both the cost and energy inputs associated with titanium extraction.

Potential Impact:

If successful, the University of Utah’s reactor would significantly reduce energy inputs and costs for titanium used in aerospace, energy, and industrial applications compared to conventional titanium production methods.


Light-weighting aircraft and other vehicles to improve fuel efficiency could reduce U.S. dependence on foreign fossil fuel resources used in the aerospace industry.


Consolidating production steps could reduce energy consumption in titanium primary metal production by 62% and reduce CO2 emissions by eliminating high-energy melting steps.


Simplifying titanium extraction and decreasing material inputs could make titanium cost-competitive with stainless steel for transportation applications, particularly in aircraft.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. David Tew
Project Contact:
Pei Sun
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


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