Powdered titanium ore (especially ilmenite) is fluorinated and leached with aqueous hf under oxidizing conditions for separation of insoluble iron compounds. The resulting alkaline-earth metal fluorotitanates are heated in an induction slag-melting crucible for reduction to titanium with an alkaline-earth metal (especially calcium). Alloying elements can be added to the molten reduction bath. The preferred flux is caf2, which also provides a protective coating layer on the titanium ingot. Thus, powdered ilmenite rock was slurried with hf and water, stirred at 90 deg c for about 2 hours, and centrifuged for separation of residual solids. The resulting liquor was mixed with powdered caf2, stirred for 24 hours at 90 deg c, filtered, boiled for concentration, and cooled on ice to precipitate catif6 at 59 pct yield. Granular catif6 292, ca about 16, and caf2 150 g were fed into a segmented copper crucible heated under argon by induction at 10,000 hz with a titanium bottom layer. After feeding for 25 minutes the recovery of reduced titanium was 33 g with 48 pct yield.
Chem. Abstr. 109:25,743B, Jan. 15, 1991 U.S. Pat. 4,985,069