Two University of Utah professors have received a combined $4 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy to find better ways to work with metals.
Professor Zak Fang will receive a $3 million grant to find a cheaper, more energy-efficient way to manufacture lightweight, corrosion-resistant titanium. Using such metal would make vehicles more fuel-efficient, but currently costs 10 times more than steel to manufacture. The new method would use magnesium hydride to extract titanium from ore.
Professor Raj Rajamani will get $1 million to develop a new electromagnetic way to sort lightweight scrap metals. Current methods can't distinguish between different grades of metal alloys, but the new method could and could reduce the need for manufacturing new metals.