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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
Doing Business As Name:University of Nebraska-Lincoln
PD/PI:
  • Li Tan
  • (402) 472-4018
  • ltan4@unl.edu
Award Date:03/31/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 50,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 50,000
  • FY 2021=$50,000
Start Date:03/15/2021
End Date:08/31/2021
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:I-Corps: Room Temperature Titanium Extraction from Low-Cost Pigments
Federal Award ID Number:2121590
DUNS ID:555456995
Parent DUNS ID:068662618
Program:I-Corps
Program Officer:
  • Ruth Shuman
  • (703) 292-2160
  • rshuman@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:151 Prem S. Paul Research Center
City:Lincoln
State:NE
ZIP:68503-1435
County:Lincoln
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Street:North 17th & Vine Street
City:Lincoln
State:NE
ZIP:68588-0526
County:Lincoln
Country:US
Cong. District:01

Abstract at Time of Award

The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is the development of a green manufacturing technology for titanium production. Special metals, such as titanium and its alloys, have unique corrosion resistance, high specific strength, and excellent bio-compatibility. These metals may be used in the fabrication of high-performance parts for medical implants and other applications such as deep sea mining and robotics. In addition, the proposed room temperature process for titanium production may enable the development of future alloys such as high entropy alloys, which are not suitable for the current high temperature manufacturing process. Also, the proposed manufacturing process may be applied to extract rare earth metals from their oxides, satisfying critical needs in manufacturing electric motors for the US auto industry. This I-Corps project is based on the development of an electrochemical approach for titanium (Ti) parts manufacturing utilizing low-cost pigments (TiO2) refined into value-added products (e.g., Ti powders/wires) at room temperature. Though electrochemical approaches have been exploited by others, the proposed technology is based on a unique liquid metal alloy as the anode. The liquid metal alloy has a “catalytic” capability, capable of accelerating titanium extractions from solid TiO2 without the need for elevated temperatures. The resulting value-added products may be used as raw materials in additive manufacturing to deliver Ti parts. This proposed room temperature process potentially may save more than 50% of the energy costs versus the traditional Ti refining process and may be easier to directly couple with additive manufacturing. In addition, this technology may decrease the price of Ti powder from >$50 per pound to $4 per pound. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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