Commercialising a Game Changing Technology.
The Fodere process was developed to treat low-grade and complex titanium-bearing feedstock, where existing methods are not suitable, in order to produce ultra-pure high-grade synthetic rutile. The objective was to design a sustainable technology capable of extracting a basket of compounds, primarily titanium dioxide (TiO2) and vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) and leave behind near to zero waste, providing obvious economic and environmental benefits. Using minor modifications, the process has successfully been applied to a range of feedstock including: titanomagnetite concentrate; roast-calcine titanomagnetite tailings (waste); hard-rock ilmenite and complex titania slag, such as the Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium (EHSV) slag.
The current methods of upgrading titanium-bearing minerals are either not suitable for treating titanium dioxide (TiO2) slag or are not capable of recovering both titanium (Ti) and vanadium (V) oxides. The complex mineralogy and varied distribution of vanadium ions in the TiO2 slag material affects the recovery of vanadium.
Existing processes essentially use reduction in a high-temperature kiln followed by acid leaching. Fodere’s process does the same but does the reduction at much lower temperature, which is significantly lower than many of the current technologies used to treat titanium containing minerals.
The existing processes also require additional complex and expensive steps to recover other metals, whereas Fodere’s does so by sequential precipitation from the leaching. Fodere estimates that the cost savings mean this process could be used to treat material currently uneconomic to treat by existing processes.