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Title of Technology 

An environmentally friendly process for the Production of High Grade Synthetic Rutile from Low Grade Ilmenite

Executive Summary

Ilmenite (FeTiO3) and rutile (TiO2) are the natural minerals exploited worldwide for the production of pigment grade TiO2 and titanium metal. CSIR-NIIST has developed an environment friendly process which is superior in terms of pollution abatement, technology and the grade of synthetic rutile.
This technology has been successfully demonstrated for two private industries where around 700 metric tons of Ilmenite has been processed to obtain 570 metric tons of metallized ilmenite (83-85%) with two commercial Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) rotary kilns of capacity 50 TPD and 130 metric tons of synthetic rutile has been produced. The process conditions of individual operations have been tailor-made to suit the available various grade of Indian ilmenite. This metallization process part will be useful for titania slag technology where the energy consumption can be drastically reduced.

Potential Market

Global TiO2 market is 11 billion USD and expected to grow 2.7% per year. The demand for TiO2 in India is 1,50,000 tonnes / year and India imports 70% of it. Though Indian has 375-400 million tonnes of ilmenite (21% of global deposits)., India’s installed capacity is 1% of worlds capacity.
In light of the huge market space in terms of internal demand as well as the export potential, upgradation of ilmenite to a product containing more than 90% TiO2 assumes greater significance by the Indian industries by adopting suitable but environmental friendly technologies. Upgradation of ilmenite in terms of TiO2 content also fetch significant value addition. For instance, ilmenite containing 50-55% TiO2 is priced at Rs. 8000-10000 per tonne and the same gets enhanced to Rs. 48000 to 50000 per tonne when the TiO2 content in the mineral is increased to 90% or more.

Technology Readiness Level – 6