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Producing Synthetic Rutile from Ilmenite by Pyrometallurgy. Pilot- plant Studies and Economic Evaluation.

Elger-GW; Kirby-DE; Rhoads-SC
NTIS: PB 258 387 :31 pages
This report describes pilot-plant studies and an economic evaluation of a process developed by the federal Bureau of Mines, Albany (Oregon) Metallurgy Research Center, to produce synthetic rutile from a rock-type ilmenite concentrate. In this process, ilmenite blended with coke and lime is smelted in an electric arc furnace to separate most of the iron as salable pig iron and to form a titania-enriched slag of low iron content, which is treated with oxygen and titanium pyrophosphate. The titanium oxides are converted to crystalline rutile; the phosphate glass contains most of the associated impurities. The treated slag is ground and leached with sulfuric acid to liberate rutile crystals, which are concentrated by physical methods. In pilot testing conducted to obtain data for a cost estimation, a synthesized product containing about 88 wt-pct tio2 and less than 2 pct feo was extracted from a rock-type ilmenite concentrate containing about 45 wt-pct tio2. The estimated fixed capital cost (on a mid-1975 basis) of a plant producing 500 tpd of synthetic rutile is $28,290,100. Based on 330 operating days per year, the estimated operating cost for this process is $351 per ton of synthetic rutile. The estimated selling price of synthetic rutile made from rock-type ilmenite is $344 per ton, based on a credit of $160 per ton of pig iron and a 20 pct interest rate of return on investment after taxes.
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Report of Investigation;
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
RI 8140
NIOSH Division
Source Name
NTIS: PB 258 387