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MEI Online: Pyrometallurgy: Latest News: July 18th 2003

:: Tantalum Australia Cements Boston Uni Deal  

Tantalum Australia has laid the foundations of a long-term relationship with Boston University, finalising an exclusive licence for the solid oxygen-ion-conducting membranes (SOM) process.

The license agreement will give Tantalum Australia exclusivity for the life of the patents, which is 14 years.

Tantalum Australia said it continues to sponsor research at Boston University for further development of the SOM process. The company said it expects any new patents developed during the research period will be added to any license agreement between the two partners.

Tantalum Australia decided to go ahead with the agreement after Boston University release a positive progress report which revealed improved stability of the system, significant reduction in reactor operating temperatures, improved yield, and high purity metal produced.

The advances made have significantly increased the efficiency of the SOM process, which will lead to a cost advantage over existing high temperature processes, Tantalum Australia said.

Further work will now be conducted including scaling up of an improved reactor design utilising the new process, and testwork on tantalum concentrate as a feedstock.

The objective is to extract metal directly from tantalum concentrate using the SOM process.




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