This paper describes laboratory techniques and subsequent results of Bureau of Mines research to produce chlorination-grade feedstock from an abundant, low-grade, domestic, rock ilmenite ore. The research is part of the Bureau effort to devise technology that may help decrease U.S. dependence on imported raw materials. A rock ilmenite containing about 46 wt pct tio2 was smelted in an electric arc furnace with coke, woodchips, and na2co3 to separate most of the iron as pig iron and to form a low-iron, titanium-enriched slag. The slag was ground, pelletized, oxidized, and then sulfated with mixtures of so2 and air in a continuous 4.5- to 9.1-Kg/h apparatus at 1,023 to 1,223 k. The sulfated slag, containing 60 to 65 pct tio2, was reground and leached in water at ambient temperature to decrease the combined levels of the troublesome ca, mg, and mn impurities from 7.0 to 1.7 Wt pct. At levels of more than 3 wt pct, these impurities contribute to operating and disposal problems. The final product was upgraded to about 84 wt pct tio2. This material potentially is suitable for chlorination in a fluidized-bed reactor. The most favorable results were achieved with leached slag sulfated at a feed-rate of 4.5 Kg/h and at temperatures of 1,073 to 1,123 k.
Pres. At Soc. Min. Eng. AIME Fall Mtg., Denver, Colorado, Oct. 1984, 13 Pp