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Matthew Robert Earlam

Materials Process Engineer

Researh area: Extractive metallurgy of rare earth, magnesium, lithium and tittanium. Molten salt electrolysis.


Extractive metallurgy is the focus of most of my work experience. I have a BS and MS from Colorado School of Mines in metallurgical engineering with minor in extractive metallurgy.

I have worked on the Dow Magnesium process, both at the feed section of the process where magnesium chloride extracted and purified from sea water, and the electrolysis process and magnesium ingot casting. The Dow process was unique as the magnesium chloride used was not completely dried. I worked on cell optimization, environmental improvements and metal casting improvements. In the R & D function I worked on neodymium metal production from a molten chloride salt. I have worked at Timet’s Henderson plant in the production of titanium sponge. In this process magnesium electrowinning from a molten salt is used to produce magnesium metal used for the reduction of titanium tetrachloride. I worked on the improving the quality of titanium sponge and improvements in the magnesium cells. I developed a method of machine vision inspection of sponge replacing human visual inspection. I was the principal process engineer for the site.

I worked in the production of dysprosium-iron alloy via electrolysis of molten fluoride salt. I have worked on Nd-Pr metal production from a molten fluoride salt. I have worked on various magnesium recycling programs using molten salts, and production of rare earth-magnesium alloys via electrolysis.

I have interests in molten salt electrometallurgy, extractive metallurgy of light metals (Mg, Ti, Li, and Al). Recycling of light metals and safety practices in metal production.