The Altair TiO2 pigment process

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 95, No. 1065, 2002

D. Verhulst, B. Sabacky, T. Spitler and W. Duyvesteyn, Altair Nanomaterials Inc., Reno, Nevada, United States

The Altair TiO2 pigment process is based on hydrochloric acid leaching of ilmenite at high-acid concentration. Titanium is transferred by solvent extraction into a high-purity aqueous stream with a high titanium concentration. HCl gas is recovered by pressure-swing distillation and is used to regenerate the leaching solution. A new method of TiO2 recovery in dense film with simultaneous dehydration and hydrolysis provides great flexibility in adjusting the characteristics of the TiO2 pigment product. Modifications of this method lead to a flexible, low-cost, high-tonnage process first for the production of nano-sized TiO2, and later for stabilized zirconia-based nanomaterials and nano-sized titanates.
Keywords: Nanomaterials, Acid leaching, Ilmenite, Solvent extraction, Distillation.