Recovery of high purity scandium oxide from titanium processing residues
Scandium (Sc) is a rare, but strategic element for many high-tech applications such as next generation fuel cell technologies. Typically, it is required as highly pure (99.99%) Sc2O3. Currently, the global supply of Sc2O3 is very small and concentrated in a few countries. There is currently no production know-how available in Canada. The principal source of Sc extraction is as a by-product of metallurgical processes, e.g., titanium ore processing. The project investigates the extraction of high purity scandium from titanium pigment industry residues. This involves the selective leaching of a residue and determining the appropriate acid, pH, temperature, redox potential und time conditions. At the same time the dissolution of impurity elements needs to be minimized at maximum the Sc extraction. In a second step an appropriate chemical for solvent extraction is determined and the optimal extraction and stripping conditions will be investigated. The ultimate goal of the project is to develop a production process for of highly pure Sc2O3.