Abstract The extraction equilibria of Sc(III), Zr(IV), Ti(IV), Th(IV), Fe(III) and Lu(III) from sulphuric or hydrochloric acid media by Cyanex 923 (mixture of straight chain alkylated phosphine oxides) and Cyanex 925 (mixture of branched chain alkylated phosphine oxides) were studied at various aqueous acidities. The extractant Cyanex 923 demonstrated better scandium loading and selectivity for Ti(IV), Fe(III) and Lu(III) than Cyanex 925. The effects of extractant concentration on the extractions of sulphuric acid and Sc(III) by Cyanex 923 were examined. The stoichiometries of the extraction reactions were postulated based on slope analysis. The experimental results indicate that Cyanex 923 can be employed to recover scandium directly from the hydrolytic mother solution arising from TiO 2 production via the sulphate process. The parameters studied were scandium loading capacity, phase ratio, concentrations of Ti(IV) scrubbing and Sc(III) stripping agents. A new solvent extraction technology of scandium recovery was developed. The purity of the final Sc(III) product is above 95% with a yield>94%.