Boston Metal to trial molten oxide electrolysis on CBMM ore

CBMM, a leading supplier of niobium products and technology, and Boston Metal have signed a strategic partnership to trial Boston Metal’s molten oxide electrolysis (MOE) technology for the production of niobium products.

Together, the companies will deploy the MOE technology at CBMM’s production plant in Araxá, Brazil, with first commissioning expected later this year.

CBMM, as of 2016, produced 90,000 t/y of ferroniobium equivalent, with plans to increase this further. Its mine in Araxá contains pyrochlore, a mineral that hosts niobium, among other constituents, which CBMM turns into niobium-based products.

Boston Metal said: “With this partnership, CBMM and Boston Metal will seek to further advance niobium production efficiency and provide innovative material transformation solutions. CBMM’s leadership in the niobium market is a direct result of decades of research and development investment in niobium processing and its focus on collaborating with customers and partners across the globe to develop better materials.”

Boston Metal, based in Woburn, Massachusetts, has developed the patented MOE technology as a platform for the production of a wide variety of alloys. The MOE technology uses electricity to reduce metals from their oxide form, such as CBMM’s niobium oxide containing raw materials, into high-quality, molten metal products.

At its Massachusetts headquarters, Boston Metal is developing MOE for the production of metals and alloys, and, with this partnership, MOE hardware and Boston Metal personnel will be deployed at CBMM’s headquarters in Araxá, enabling the teams to collaborate closely, Boston Metal said.

Tadeu Carneiro, Chairman and CEO of Boston Metal, said: “The MOE technology that is being developed by the team at Boston Metal promises a new era in metallurgy and, in CBMM, we found a partner that shares our fundamental commitment to technology leadership.”