Extractive Metallurgy of Zirconium and Hafnium

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 70, No. 787, 1977

D. R. Spink, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario.

An historical background is presented to provide a basis for the lack of normally expected developmental effort over the first 20-25 years of viable zirconium production operations. This is followed by a description of developing technology, which is the result of years of research and piloting effort directed to the development of a more economical method to produce high-grade metallic zirconium. It is predicted that many of the process improvements described will have a significant impact on future zirconium production methods and consequently on future prices and markets.
Keywords: Metallurgy, Extractive metallurgy, Zirconium, Hafnium, Fluid-bed reactors, Purification, Titanium, Reduction, Electrolysis.