Scandium

For a "lighter" Future

Simplifying Technologies

Relieve the strain on Environment

 

Sustainable Supply of Scandium for the EU Industries from Liquid Residues from Chloride-Based TiO2 Plants

An EIT Raw materials co-founded project 2021-2024
Total budget: 4.5 million €

Today, no dedicated production plant exists worldwide, and no production and/or continuous supply in/for Europe is secured. Europe imports 100 % of scandium. The goal of the EU is to reach strategic independency with competitive prices.

The ScaVanger company will be the first scandium producer from acid chlorine-rich solutions, by-products from TiO2 pigment production in the EU. The first plant will be operated at an EU TiO2 producer site. It can be adapted to other chlorine TiO2 production sites.

This plant can supply about 21t/a of Sc2O3, which represents about 2/3 of the expected EU consumption in 2028.

The Scavanger plant concept can be adapted to other chlorine TiO2 production sites in the EU and worldwide.

ScaVanger contributes to the EU’s circular economy and green deal action plans.


Application cases

Scandium is a scarce transition metal and a critical and strategic element for the EU. It is used essentially in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOEC), aluminium-scandium sheet alloys for aerospace applications, like Eco friendly Cargo doors for European Airplanes.

ScaVanger will ensure a stable, reliable and sustainable supply for scandium (Sc), but also vanadium (V) and niobium (Nb) for the European growing markets for Solid Oxigen Electrolysis Cells (SOEC), Aeronautics, 3D printing of scandium containing aluminium alloys and high strength light alloy industries.

Sunfire´s high-temperature electrolysis module, the world´s largest


66,67

% of EU

2028

 

21

tons per year

5

Mio €


Resources

ScaVanger extracts and refines scandium, vanadium and niobium from acid chlorine solutions. The EU produces about 1.5 million tonnes of TiO2 pigments every year. Most of the residus, including valulable metals, are landfilled as filter cakes at high costs.

Technology

  • ScaVanger will upscale an innovative hydrometallurgical technology for successive Sc, Nb, and V extraction from the TiO2 acid by product solutions.
  • ScaVanger‘s technology will be integrated in the production flowsheets of the TiO2 pigment industry. This avoids transport of materials and share investments.
  • The Boil & Bake technology will produce an iron chloride-rich solution free of harmful elements. This residue is re-slurried in water. Stoichiometric quantities of chloride in the residues dissolve iron, aluminium, magnesium and calcium etc., so that chromium, vanadium, niobium, scandium and titanium and other elements can easily be separated.
  • ScaVanger will produce Sc2O3, ScF3, Nb-concentrates, V-salts and V2O4 for the alloy industries.
  • The remaining residue is cleaned and can be used in the industrial mineral sector e.g. as construction materials or cement additives.
  • HCl and waters are recycled in the plant.
  • Neutralized residues will be stored according to EU regulations.

Material flow analyses will be performed for the critical elements scandium, vanadium and niobium during the project time at macro-meso and microlevel to develop material flow indicators.

Agenda

Labscale tests and process tuning will be performed in 2021.

Pilot plant preparation and piloting is planned for 2022 and 2023.

Upscaling of metallothermic Sc and Nb extraction will be performed in 2022.

The ScaVanger process technology will be demonstrated at real scale in Q1/2024.

ScaVanger Company will start industrial operation in 2026.

This technology can be easily implemented in all chlorine-based TiO2 pigment production plants.

Partner

Contact

ScaVanger

c/o CATURA Geoprojects
2 rue Marie Davy
75014 Paris
+33684445150

info@scavanger.eu