A New Recipe May Make Titanium Less PriceyPetti Fong
Ever drooled over a titanium mountain bike or set of golf clubs? Can't afford them? Materials chemists George Z. Chen and Derek J. Fray of Britain's Cambridge University are going to try to change that. The pair has invented a way of purifying costly titanium metal from inexpensive titanium dioxide by using a process that's faster, cheaper, and cleaner than current methods. The old way, dating from the 1940s, is a slow, multistep process involving chlorination, reduction, and subsequent electrolytic steps.
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