The low temperature reduction of a metal oxide using mechanochemical processing techniques. The reduction reactions are induced mechanically by milling the reactants. In one embodiment of the invention, titanium oxide TiO.sub.2 is milled with CaH.sub.2 to produce TiH.sub.2. Low temperature heat treating, in the range of 400.degree. C. to 700.degree. C., can be used to remove the hydrogen in the titanium hydride.
This invention was funded in part by the United States Department of Energy under Subcontract No. CCS-588176 under Subcontract No. LITCO-C95-175002 under Prime Contract No. DE-AC07-94ID13223 and Subcontract No. 323120-A-U4 under Prime Contract No. DE-AC06-76RLO 1830. The United States government has certain rights in the invention.