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We supply the necessary technology for the implementation of a titanium dioxide production of TiO2 pigment

The production process of TiO2 pigment comprehends two steps.

The first step is the production of the base material. In the second step, the post treatment (see section Post Treatment (PT) ), the base material is coated to add additional properties like dispersibility or weatherability.

Two technologies are available for the production of the base material: The sulphate process (see section Sulphate Process (SP)) and the chloride process (see section Chloride Process (CP)).

In the sulphate process (SP) sulphuric acid is used. This process was developed in the 20’s of the last century.

In the chloride process (CP) chlorine is used. The process was developed in the 50’s of the last century.

Ti-Cons offers the technology for titanium dioxid production of TiO2 pigment with SP, CP and PT.

The following tables shows the advantages and the disadvantages of SP and CP:
Chloride Process (CP)Sulfate Process (SP)
Less flexible due to raw material quality
Wider range of raw material – especially Ilmenite – available
Better product quality regarding the optical and chemical properties
Product quality regarding the optical properties of Rutile base material is lower
Production of anatase pigment is not possible
Production of anatase pigment is possible
Smaller buildings
Larger buildings
Fewer vessels
More vessels
Less man power necessary
More man power necessary
Higher requirements to the qualification of the staff
Lower requirements to the qualification of the staff
Continuous Process
Mainly batch process
Less environmental impact due to less waste
More environmental impact due to more waste
Possibility to rework some of the waste to sellable co-products
Process needs co-product management and attractive markets for co-products
Requires stable production environment and infrastructure
Process is easier to handle because of batch process
Less amount of co-products
High amount of co-products
Because of the closed loop the process is more sensitive
Production does not stop totally if one step fails
Higher safety requirements due to the use of Cl2 and TiCl4
Lower safety requirements. In case of use of disulfuric acid, higher safety requirements are necessary
Higher degree of automation necessary
Lower degree to automation can be sufficient
Generally the production costs are lower
Generally the production costs are higher

Chloride Process (CP)

  • Picture: The chloride process (CP) is currently the preferred method for obtaining high-purity titanium dioxide (TiO2 pigment) from natural raw materials. The key process steps.

Sulphate Process (SP)

  • Picture: The sulfate process (SP) is the older but proven alternative to the chloride process for titanium dioxide production, chosen due to its some advantages. Learn more.

Post Treatment (PT)

  • Picture: Post-treatment (PT) also known as post-treatment process, transforms the TiO2 raw pigment into a marketable product.
What is titanium dioxide and what is it used for?

Titanium dioxide is a white, powdery pigment. It has high opacity, brightness, and durability. Due to these properties, TiO2 is a sought-after substance that is used in a wide range of areas. For example, it is used as a white pigment in paints, wall paints, and varnishes, as well as for improving UV resistance in plastics and coatings. Furthermore, there is the application of nano-TiO2 (titanium dioxide particles as nanoparticles). In this case, TiO2 primarily serves as a colour pigment. See below for more information.

What are the advantages of TiO2?

TiO2 is a versatile and high-quality pigment with a wide range of applications. Companies that use TiO2 benefit primarily from the good availability, stability, and environmental compatibility of titanium dioxide pigments. The key advantages are:

  • Diverse range of applications: Titanium dioxide pigments are available in various grades. They are used in many industrial products, such as paints, coatings, plastics, and paper products.
  • High quality: TiO2 is produced either by the sulphate process or the chloride process, surface treated, and then milled into powder form. The pigment consists of 80-98% titanium dioxide. There are different types of TiO2 grades, such as rutile grades with a higher refractive index, which account for the majority of global demand.
  • Good availability of raw materials: Various raw materials are used for the production of titanium dioxide, such as natural rutile, ilmenite, and various slags. The availability of these raw materials enables continuous production of TiO2.
  • Vertical integration: Some companies have opted for vertical integration by operating in both the raw material sector and the end consumer sector. This allows for better control of the supply chain and comprehensive customer supply.
  • Price stabilization: To minimize price fluctuations, many suppliers offer long-term contracts at fixed prices. This enables solid cost planning and the establishment of stable business relationships.
  • Environmental friendliness: More and more companies are working to reduce the CO2 footprint in production and make production processes more environmentally friendly. Methods for producing TiO2 with a lower CO2 footprint are being further refined. Innovative new methods are being researched and are expected to be available in the near future.
  •  High product safety: The production of TiO2 pigments is subject to the safety regulations of the European Union Commission. We support you in all measures to ensure the safety of TiO2 production.
  • Application areas for TiO2 nanoparticles: Nano-TiO2 is used in sunscreens to block ultraviolet radiation while remaining transparent on the skin. Nano-TiO2 is also used in construction as an additive to paints, plastics, cement, windows, tiles, and other products due to its UV absorption and photocatalytic sterilization properties. Nano-TiO2 is also used in light-emitting diodes and solar cells.
How does the extraction of titanium work?

Titanium is extracted from titanium iron ore. Natural titanium iron ore occurs mainly in two forms: ilmenite (FeTiO3) and rutile. The extraction of titanium is a highly complex process that requires consideration of various factors. The key factors include the composition of the feedstock, the applied process, and the specific requirements of the end application.

For the extraction of titanium as titanium dioxide particles, or more precisely, as titanium dioxide pigment, there are two proven processes: the sulphate process and the chloride process. Both processes have various optimizations that allow for the achievement of specific pigment properties.

How does the chloride process work?

In the chloride process, also commonly known as the chloride method or chlorination process, highly pure titanium dioxide is obtained from natural raw materials. The chloride process consists of several steps: Chlorination: In this step, the raw material reacts with chlorine and petroleum coke to form titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4). Purification of titanium tetrachloride: In this step, impurities such as vanadium chloride are removed. Oxidation: The oxidation of titanium tetrachloride results in the formation of titanium dioxide.

What are the advantages of the chloride process compared to the older sulphate process?

The main advantage is the product quality. The chloride process allows for the production of highly pure titanium dioxide pigment from titanium iron ore, which is characterized by greater brightness, better opacity, and colour stability.

Secondly, it offers energy efficiency. Compared to the sulphate process, the chloride process requires significantly less energy and fuel, making it generally more cost-effective and environmentally friendly. It generates fewer waste products and harmful emissions.

Thirdly, it provides colour stability. The titanium dioxide pigments obtained through the chloride process are typically less prone to discoloration and the effects of UV light or chemical reactions.

Fourthly, the chloride process is highly versatile, allowing pigments to be tailored to the specific requirements of the product, such as specific colour pigment properties.

What should be considered in the chloride process?

The chloride process involves the use of corrosive and highly toxic chlorine. Therefore, this process requires a specialized plant design with specific safety precautions.

What materials do you need for your chloride process technology?

For the chloride process, you need high-quality raw materials with a high content of titanium dioxide. Depending on the technology used and the desired product, specific requirements and specifications of the chloride process are necessary. Raw Ilmenite cannot be used.

We can assist you with all questions regarding the establishment and implementation of the chloride process or the specific selection of raw materials.

How does TiO2 affect the consumption and losses of chlorine?

In the chloride process, titanium dioxide is converted into titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) by adding chlorine.
The chlorine “consumed” during the chlorination of TiO2 is recovered in the combustion of the afore-mentioned TiCl4 and returned to the chlorination reactor.

The higher the TiO2 content in the raw material, the less chlorine is consumed.

If the TiO2 content in the raw material is low, a higher amount of metal chlorides is generated, which consume chlorine.

Why should the concentration of Ca and Mg be low in the chloride process?

Calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) can lead to undesirable situations in the chlorination reactor, which can result in failure in the worst case.

If the concentration of calcium and magnesium is too high, they accumulate as calcium chloride and magnesium chloride. Since these compounds are liquid under chlorination conditions, problems can arise with the fluidization of the chlorination reactor.

Why should the mechanical stability of the TiO2 raw material be high?

High mechanical stability of the TiO2 raw material particles is advisable so that the particles can remain stable in the harsh atmosphere of the chlorination reactor for a sufficient duration and can fully react according to the principle of “shrinking cores.”

Why should the concentration of radioactive impurities be low in the chloride process?

Radioactive impurities pose a potential risk to health, safety, and the environment. Therefore, their concentration should be kept as low as possible.
Additionally, radioactive impurities can diminish the quality of titanium dioxide pigment, leading to negative effects such as discoloration or undesired pigment properties.

Can both TiO2 slag and synthetic rutile be used in the chloride process?

Both TiO2 slag and synthetic rutile, because to their chemical properties, can be used effectively in the chloride process in our CP (Chloride Process) technology.

What are the key materials used in your chloride process technology?
  • TiO2 ore
  • etroleum coke
  • Oxygen
  • Chlorine
  • Natural gas
  • Steam • Electric power
  • Toluene
  • Aluminium
  • KCl (potassium chloride)
  • Nitrogen
  • Water

For more information, please refer to the tables starting from page 13 of the CP process presentation under the “Technology” section on our website. Please note that these values are general guidelines, and specific applications may deviate significantly from these concentrations.

Why do you need petroleum coke for your chloride process technology?

Petroleum coke is used to reduce Ti(IV) to Ti(III) in the chlorination reactor. Only Ti(III) can be chlorinated.

What type of equipment do you need for your chloride process?

The chloride process typically requires the following equipment:

Static equipment such as:

  • Tanks
  • Reactors
  • Columns
  • Filters
  •  Scrubbers
  • Etc.

Rotating equipment such as:

  • Pumps
  • Screw conveyors
  • Rotary feeders • Agitators
  • Blowers
  • Mills
  • Etc.

For more information, please refer to page 15 of the CP process presentation under the “Technology” section on our website.

How does the sulphate process work?

In the sulphate process, also known as the sulfuric acid process, high-purity titanium dioxide is produced from natural raw materials. The sulphate process is an alternative and older method compared to the chloride process. Like the chloride process, the sulphate process consists of several steps:

  • Digestion: The raw material (ilmenite or TiO2 slag) is digested with sulfuric acid, resulting in metal sulphates.
  • Hydrolysis: In this step, the sulphates undergo hydrolysis.
  • Leaching: The hydrolysate is washed, and impurities are removed.
  • Calcination: Finally, the titanium dioxide hydrate is calcined to remove water, resulting in the formation of the titanium dioxide pigment.
What are the advantages of the sulphate process compared to the newer chloride process?

The main advantage of the sulphate process is that it requires less demanding equipment. Since no chlorine is used and no TiCl4 and CO are produced, the safety requirements are less stringent. Therefore, fewer strict safety precautions are required when handling the chemicals in the sulphate process compared to the chloride process. Better availability of raw materials: The sulphate process utilizes the more commonly available raw material, ilmenite, for titanium dioxide production. In the sulphate process, ilmenite can be more effectively converted compared to the chloride process.

What should be considered in the sulphate process?

The process is significantly more difficult to scale due to being a batch process. The CP (Chloride Process) is a continuous process and can be scaled much more effectively. Above a certain plant size, the CP process is significantly more cost-effective in terms of capital expenditure (CAPEX).

Lower quality: Pigments produced with the sulphate process have lower brightness and lower opacity compared to the end products of the chloride process.

Profit per tonne is lower in the sulphate process because high-quality products are more easily produced with the CP process.

Is the mechanical stability of particles important in the sulphate process?

No, the mechanical stability of particles is not important in the sulphate process. In fact, in the sulphate process, the TiO2 ore can be very fine, whereas in the CP process, it is blown out of the chlorination reactor. In the sulphate process, the ore is often milled to ensure good reaction during digestion.

What is the typical plant design for titanium dioxide pigment production?

The typical plant design for titanium dioxide pigment production can vary depending on the applied process and specific requirements. Typically, the following components are required:

  • Raw material preparation for preparing the raw materials.
  • Reaction and conversion unit to produce titanium intermediate products (“titanium sulphate” or “titanium chloride”).
  • Separation unit to remove undesirable impurities. • Reaction unit to produce the base (raw TiO2).
  • Grinding and classification units to achieve the correct particle size.
  • Treatment units to transform the raw TiO2 into the final product.
  • Packaging and storage units to fill the titanium dioxide pigments and prepare them for storage and shipment. This can be done in different forms, depending on customer and market requirements.

The plant design for titanium dioxide pigment production may deviate from these specifications depending on the application.

What is chlorination?

Chlorination is a chemical process in which chlorine is combined with another substance or compound. It involves a reaction where chlorine atoms interact with the molecules of the target substance to form new compounds or modify existing compounds.

In the context of titanium dioxide pigment production, chlorination plays a significant role in the chloride process. Chlorine is used to react with titanium dioxide and form titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4). This process is a key step in converting titanium dioxide ore into the required TiCl4 (intermediate product) and further processing it into titanium dioxide pigments.

Chlorination in the chloride process is typically carried out at high temperatures using petroleum coke as reductant.

What role do non-ferrous metals play in the production of titanium dioxide pigments?

Titanium is a non-ferrous metal, just like copper and aluminium. In the production of TiO2 pigment, the focus is not on the metallic properties of titanium but on the properties of TiO2 pigment as THE white colorant worldwide. Non-ferrous metals are typically more corrosion-resistant than iron-based metals. They also exhibit higher conductivity and possess important physical and chemical properties. Some of the key non-ferrous metals include:

  • Aluminium is a lightweight metal with excellent corrosion resistance and good thermal and electrical conductivity.
  • Copper is a versatile metal with excellent electrical and thermal conductivity. • Zinc is highly corrosion resistant.
  • Lead is a dense and malleable metal.
  • Nickel is highly corrosion-resistant and exhibits excellent high-temperature properties.
  • Titanium is a strong and lightweight metal with excellent corrosion resistance.
  • Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc that is easy to work with and highly corrosion resistant.
  • Bronze has good strength, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance.
What is meant by post-treatment in the titanium dioxide pigment production?

The term “post-treatment” refers to additional processing steps in titanium dioxide pigment production that occur after the production of the raw TiO2 (base material). These processes aim to further enhance the produced titanium dioxide pigment and achieve specific properties or characteristics.

Typical post-treatment procedures in titanium dioxide pigment production include:

  • Grinding to optimize particle size and achieve a uniform distribution of pigment particles.
  • Surface treatment to improve certain properties of the titanium dioxide pigment.
  • Dehydration and washing of the resulting TiO2 slurry.
  • Drying of the dehydrated and washed slurry.
  • Grinding of the dried slurry to obtain the final product. Post-treatment processes generally serve to transform the raw pigment into a marketable product.
Intellectual Property

We solemnly declare that the technology we transfer to our customers in the course of our business, whether in whole or in part, is our intellectual property.

Our customers are allowed to use it within the scope of the contract authorization and regulations. Other parties have no right to possess, plagiarize and use our technology, including documents and materials, in any form.

As for the possible illegal sale, possession, plagiarism and use of our technology, documents and materials, we will take the necessary legal means to investigate the legal and economic responsibilities of the relevant persons or parties.

Bezüglich einem möglichem illegalen Verkauf, Besitz, Kopieren und Nutzung unserer Technologie werden wir alle notwendigen legalen Möglichkeiten nutzen um die legalen und wirtschaftlichen Verantwortlichkeit der relevanten Personen und Parteien zu ermitteln.

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