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Materials Chemistry Group


Dr Antony CoxTonyCox

BSc Hons Applied Science (Sheffield)
MSc Instrumentation and Analytical Science (Manchester)
PhD Corrosion Science (Manchester)
CEng MIChemE, CPhys MInstP, CChem MRSC

Tel.: +44 (0) 1223 334343



My research encompasses materials chemistry and electrochemical technology applied to sustainable extractive metallurgy, recycling and purification of metals and alloys, and development of chemical sensors with a view to low cost and clean environment.

I have expertise in the use of molten salts and the design and use of equipment to perform high temperature electrochemistry. I have been and am a consultant to numerous companies developing new process technologies such as Cambridge Carbon Capture, Metalysis and Sensotec.

As well as an active scientific researcher I have been heavily involved in acquiring project funding and overseeing knowledge transfer to industry.

Previously, I have supervised PhD students and visiting scientists, tutored in Part II course modules and supervised part III laboratory classes. I lectured with the Open University in Environmental Science and worked part time for University of Chemistry Local Examination Syndicate.

Current Project

Electrochemical production of titanium

I am developing an electrochemical process to produce a refined titanium powder directly from chemically altered ilmenite. Preliminary work has been very promising and fundamental work is continuing prior to constructing a test plant.


Previous Projects

Upgrading of naturally occurring potassium silicate minerals to high grade fertilizer

In 2011 I developed an economically viable process to directly extract potassium from naturally and locally occurring Brazilian glauconitic feldspar to produce a non-chloride potassium fertilizer negating the need for deep mining and giving opportunities to countries such as Brazil who rely heavily on costly imports to become self-sufficient in potash fertilizers. A pilot plant is operational in Brazil.


Electrochemical extraction and refining of solar silicon

In 2010 I secured a knowledge transfer award with a university spin-out company to develop a clean process to produce low cost solar grade silicon directly from white sand.

The electrochemical techniques and materials technology utilized should reduce the energy input by ~80%, and the carbon output by ~90% compared to current production methods. 


  Previous Research

·     Separation of sulphur and oxygen from tin in the float-glass process.

·     Synthesis of single-walled carbon nanotubes using CVD.

·     Development of a zinc sensor to optimize a new process to recycle lead for use       in car batteries

·     Laser Doppler Anemometric modelling of industrial molten metal systems

·     Centrifugal electrolysis to reduce the energy consumption in the production of       lithium.

·     Electrochemical study of atmospheric corrosion on steel (PhD Thesis).

Selected Publications

Cox, A. Fray, D.J. "The Separation of Magnesium and Manganese from Beverage Can Scrap Using a Novel Electrorefining Cell" Journal of The Electrochemical Society (2003) issue 12, 150: D200

Cox, A. Fray, D.J. "Mechanistic Investigation into the Electrolytic formation of Iron from Iron III Oxide in Molten Sodium Hydroxide". J. Applied Electrochemistry, (2008) 38: 1401

Juzeliunas, E., Cox A., Fray D. J., “Electro-deoxidation of thin silica layer in molten salt—Globular structures with effective light absorbance” Electrochimica. Acta, (2012) 68; 123-127