Issue Date: February 18, 2008
University Has New TiO2 Process
Britain's University of Leeds is working with Millennium Inorganic Chemicals to scale up what researchers say is an improved process for making the white pigment titanium dioxide. In the main conventional route to TiO2, mineral ore is smelted. It is then reacted with chlorine to form titanium tetrachloride, which is separated from impurities and then oxidized to form TiO2 again. In the Leeds process, the ore is roasted with an alkali to remove contaminants, which are washed with acid to yield marketable by-products. The ore is then converted to 97%-pure TiO2 through treatment with a fraction of the chlorine needed in the conventional process, the university says.
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