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The Method of Processing and Purification of Titanium from other Minerals in a Mine

The Method of Processing and Purification of Titanium from other Minerals in a Mine

Titanium is an important element that is there in most creatures, and is known as the fourth most widely available element in the Earth’s crust, after Aluminum, iron, and magnesium. There are several minerals that contain this element, and are processed and purified for its extraction. Below, we will discuss the method of processing and purification of titanium from other minerals in a mine. We suggest that you follow us (Arian Fateh Shargh Company) up to the end of this text.

What is titanium, and what properties does it have?

Titanium (Ti) is a soft, flexible silver gray metal with a melting point of 1675 degrees centigrade (3047 degrees Fahrenheit). A layer of oxide takes shape on the surface of the element, which makes no change in its chemical properties. This has made titanium highly resistant to corrosion in most natural environments. Moreover, the element is light-weight, with a density of 4.51 grams per cubic centimeter, lying between those of aluminum and iron.

The major minerals composed of titanium include rutile (TiO2) and ilmenite (FeTiO3). In terms of atomic radius, titanium is similar to many other common metals, such as iron and tin, and can therefore be turned into an alloy with improved properties. Titanium alloys exhibit a wide range of mechanical properties and very high resistance against corrosion.

What are the applications of titanium?

Titanium and its alloys are used in different industries as ingots, pipes, sheets, and wires. The greatest user of titanium alloys is the aerospace industry, where they are used to make the main body and other parts of the airplane such as the engine, landing gear, and hydraulic pipes. Given the major role of titanium and its alloys in this industry, it is of great significance to purify the element from other minerals. Various methods of purification and processing of titanium can be observed in the next section.

How is titanium processed and purified?

Titanium is processed and purified from other minerals in a mine in three ways. Each of the methods will be introduced below.

Kroll process

A large part of the titanium available in ore is titanium dioxide, which is processed through the long, four-step Kroll process. The steps of the Kroll process follow.

1. Chlorination of the ore to titanium chloride (IV)

The titanium dioxide compound is extremely stable in thermal terms and highly resistant against different chemical attacks. It cannot be reduced using carbon, carbon monoxide, or hydrogen. If titanium dioxide is converted into titanium chloride (IV), however, titanium can be achieved more easily, as chloride is easier to reduce.

2. Purification of titanium chloride (IV)

Titanium chloride (IV) boils after chemical operations with hydrogen sulfide or mineral oil until purified with the elimination of the vanadium oxychloride that is there.

The final two steps involved in the purification of titanium in this method include:

3. Reduction of titanium chloride (IV) to titanium sponge

4. Processing of titanium sponge.

ITP’s Armstrong process

Titanium and its alloys can be produced from titanium chloride (IV) using sodium instead of magnesium. Although not a new method, the Armstrong process can considerably reduce the costs of processing and purification of titanium.

FFC Cambridge process

This is an electrolytic method for direct reduction of titanium dioxide to titanium. Titanium dioxide assumes the shape of a bullet, and functions as the cathode. It is placed in a bath of melted calcium chloride and connected to a metal rod, and the cell is completed with an anode of carbon. As voltage is applied, titanium oxide is reduced to titanium, which is thus purified.

Final remarks

Titanium is an element widely available in all living creatures, water, and soil. It is contained in a variety of minerals, such as rutile, ilmenite, leucoxene, anatase, brookite, perovskite, and sphene, with the three former being of great economic significance. In this text, we discussed the methods of processing and purification of titanium from other minerals in a mine.