2013 Volume 54 Issue 8 Pages 1444-1453
A selective chlorination process using magnesium chloride (MgCl2) as chlorinating agent was investigated with the aim of developing a process for removing iron directly from ilmenite, which is a low-grade titanium ore known as FeTiO3. Two crucibles, one consisting of titanium ore and the other consisting of a mixture of titanium ore and MgCl2, were placed in a gas-tight quartz tube, and then both crucibles were heated to 1000 K. In some experiments, H2O vapor was introduced in the quartz tube. HCl gas produced from the MgCl2/titanium ore mixture reacted with the iron present in the titanium ore placed in the other crucible to produce TiO2. Iron present in the titanium ore of the titanium ore/MgCl2 mixture reacted with MgCl2, and MgTiO3 and MgO were obtained. Iron in the titanium ore present in both crucibles was removed as FeCl2 (l,g). In these experiments, the effects of the particle size of the titanium ore and the atmosphere on selective chlorination were investigated. In addition, titanium ores produced in Vietnam, Australia and China were used as feedstocks. By the chlorination process, 97% TiO2 was obtained directly in one step from the low-grade titanium ore containing 51% TiO2 under certain conditions, thus demonstrating the feasibility of the selective chlorination process for producing high-purity titanium dioxide from low-grade titanium ore.