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Titanium Dioxide Introduction
Titanium dioxide, also known as titanium(IV) oxide or titania, is the naturally occurring oxide of titanium, chemical formula TiO2.
When used as a pigment, it is called titanium white, Pigment White 6 (PW6), or CI 77891. Generally it is sourced from ilmenite,
rutile and anatase. It has a wide range of applications, from paint to sunscreen to food colouring.
The production method depends on the feedstock. The most common method for the production of titanium dioxide utilizes the mineral
ilmenite. Ilmenite is mixed with sulfuric acid. This reacts to remove the iron oxide group in the ilmenite. The by-product iron(II) sulfate is crystallized and filtered-off to yield only the titanium salt in the digestion solution. This product is called synthetic rutile. This is further processed
in a similar way to rutile to give the titanium dioxide product. Synthetic rutile and titanium slags are made especially for titanium
The most important application areas are paints and varnishes as well as paper and plastics, which account for about 80% of the world's
titanium dioxide consumption. Other pigment applications such as printing inks, fibers, rubber, cosmetic products and foodstuffs account
for another 8%. The rest is used in other applications, for instance the production of technical pure titanium, glass and glass ceramics,
electrical ceramics, catalysts, electric conductors and chemical intermediates.