High-Efficiency Titanium Production

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OPEN 2015
Woburn, Massachusetts
Project Term:
05/05/2016 - 07/31/2018

Technology Description:

Boston Electrometallurgical Corporation will develop and scale a one step molten oxide electrolysis process for producing Ti metal directly from the oxide. Titanium oxide is dissolved in a molten oxide, where it is directly and efficiently extracted as molten titanium metal. In this process, electrolysis is used to separate the product from the solution as a bottom layer that can then be removed from the reactor in its molten state. If successful, it could replace the multistep Kroll process with a one-step process that resembles today’s aluminum production techniques. If successful, Ti ingots could be produced at cost parity with stainless steel, opening the doorway to industrial waste heat recovery applications and increasing its adoption in commercial aircraft.

Potential Impact:

If successful, Boston Electrometallurgical Corporation could yield drastic improvements in the efficiency of titanium manufacturing, which could encourage greater use of low-cost, light-weight titanium in the transportation sector and help reduce GHG emissions.


Replacing stainless steel heat exchangers with titanium could enable energy savings through greater deployment of waste heat recovery in corrosive environments. This savings could amount to several quads of energy, thus reducing U.S. dependence on foreign fossil fuel resources.


Producing titanium ingots in a less energy-intensive process could result in significant CO2 emissions reductions. Every quad of coal power displaced by heat recovery would result in 95 M ton CO2 avoided.


Reducing titanium production costs increases the economic viability of light weighting vehicles and aircraft, which could help improve vehicle fuel economy.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Scott Litzelman
Project Contact:
Dr. Richard Bradshaw
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Project Contact Email:

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