A CSIRO research engineer with the TiRO™ separation equipment.
Titanium metal production
CSIRO supports the development of an Australian titanium metal production industry through advanced metal production technologies.
1 May 2012 | Updated 8 May 2012
CSIRO provides a one-stop shop for the technologies which underpin development of an Australian titanium metal production industry, including revolutionary methods for titanium metal powder production.
The conventional extraction of titanium metal from ore requires several arduous and expensive steps. The most widely adopted process to produce the metal sponge is the Kroll process which involves four steps:
- Concentrated ore is chlorinated to form titanium tetrachloride and then distilled to remove metallic impurities
- The titanium tetrachloride is reduced with magnesium
- Magnesium chloride and unreacted magnesium are separated out by vacuum distillation
- The titanium sponge mass is mechanically removed and crushed.
The Kroll process is a batch process with high labour and energy intensity, and hence associated high costs.
Read about our key research projects in metal production below.