Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Materials Science and Engineering


Petrus Pistorius


Titanium production is a long and complicated process. What we often consider to be the standard method of primary titanium production (the Kroll process), involves many complex steps both before and after to make a useful product from titanium ore. Thus new methods of titanium production, especially electrochemical processes, which can utilize less-processed feedstocks have the potential to be both cheaper and less energy intensive than current titanium production processes. This project is investigating the use of lower-grade titanium ores with the electrochemical MER process for making titanium via a molten salt process. The experimental work carried out has investigated making the MER process feedstock (titanium oxycarbide) with natural titanium ores|such as rutile and ilmenite|and new ways of using the MER electrochemical reactor to \upgrade" titanium ores or the titanium oxycarbide feedstock. It is feasible to use the existing MER electrochemical reactor to both purify the titanium oxycarbide feedstock and produce titanium metal.