II-VI has successfully demonstrated its SIR process in pilot scale by processing 1.9 m3 of acid waste stream from TRONOX and producing 1.3 kg of crude scandium oxide concentrate.
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WHAT IS SCANDIUM?
Scandium is a chemical element with symbol Sc and atomic number 21. A silvery-white metallic d-block element, it was discovered in 1879 by spectral analysis of the minerals euxenite and gadolinite from Scandinavia.
Scandium is a rare-earth metal, used in small amounts but with drastic effects on properties of matter. It is a key component in producing high strength Aluminium alloys used in aerospace and 3D printing as well as in Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) applications.
Scandium is present in most of the deposits of rare-earth and uranium compounds, but it is extracted from these ores in only a few mines worldwide. Scandium supply is limited due its scarcity and the high cost of its production, which currently takes place in Asia and Russia. Europe has no production of Scandium, but is home to many Scandium end-users and to industries having Scandium in their industrial residues. By converting waste into resources and thus developing a stable and secure EU scandium supply chain to serve the needs of EU aerospace and high tech industry, SCALE project will contribute to reduce dependency on imports of raw materials.
SCALE-Up demonstrates a commercialization-ready flowsheet for producing Sc-products from Bauxite Residue. Leaching and separation takes place as integrated process within the MYTILINEOS’s alumina plant, extracting from 850,000t/a of Bauxite Residue, 67t/y of crude Sc concentrate. The concetrate is refined at SCAVANGER into 22t/y of pure Sc2O3, which is then returned to MYTILINEOS’ Al smelter for production of 733t/y of Al-Sc2% master alloy.