Chemicals, bicycles, toothpaste
Titanium is a critical metal for the aircraft industry, but it also is used in hulls of ships, bicycle frames and in the chemicals industry. It connects well with bone, so it is found in dental implants and prostheses. Titanium dioxide, the material used to refine titanium metal, is an excellent whitener for paint, sunscreen and toothpaste.
The EcoTitanium plant will create at least 60 jobs. When it reaches full capacity in about a year, it will be able to make thousands of tons of titanium alloy annually.
The plant also allows Eramet, the French mining and metals group, and its partners to offer titanium customers a wide range of services. The extraction of ore and production of titanium metal is done by UKTMP, a partner firm in Kazakhstan. The forging of titanium ingots is performed at another Eramet site in central France. Titanium finishing occurs at a factory in southwestern France. EcoTitanium handles recycling.
“This is a wonderful project,” Di Giacomo says. “It has a little bit of everything – new technology, new jobs, less waste, helping the circular economy.”