Pilot plant

Metalysis has raised £5.1m to scale up its FFC (Fray-Farthing-Cheng) process, a novel technique for the extraction of metals from their oxides.

Metalysis owns the global intellectual property and commercial exploitation rights to the FFC process, which, when compared with conventional technologies, enables a cheaper, less capital-intensive and more environmentally friendly production route to high-value metals and alloys.

The South Yorkshire company is already supplying low volumes of metallurgical-grade powders to its partners and is scaling up its technology to enter both the titanium and tantalum markets in 2010.

Tantalum and titanium powders are used in a diverse range of applications for the aerospace, marine, medical, chemical, automotive and electronics industries.

During the last five years Metalysis has raised £19m in venture capital and a further £4m in grants.

From a workforce of three in 2005, the company now employs 43 people in science and engineering, scale-up and commercial-development operations.

The new funding comes from Environmental Technologies Fund along with 3i, Chord Capital, Seven Spires Investments and Cody Gate Ventures.

In addition to providing working capital it will primarily be used to support the scale-up of a novel semi-continuous pilot plant.