Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
A chlorination pilot plant having capacity to produce 5-10 kg/hr of titanium tetrachloride is in operation at the chlorination facility in Mintek. The bubbling fluid bed chlorination plant can be operated in batch and/or continuous process to study the chlorination kinetics of various feedstocks. The chlorination of titaniferrous ores to produce titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) was carried out during the commissioning of the pilot plant and also as part of the titanium programme carried out at Mintek. TiCl4 is a basic raw material for producing commercial titanium dioxide pigment and titanium metal. This paper discusses the challenges faced during the commissioning and operation of the chlorination pilot plant. It also discusses the effect on the auxiliary facilities and instrumentation as a result of the harsh operating conditions of +1000°C and use of corrosive gases like chlorine and titanium tetrachloride. It discusses the effect of physico-chemical properties of the titanium tetrachloride and iron chlorides. The effect on the chlorinator refractory lining due to heating and cooling of the chlorinator is also discussed. Besides the special provisions made during the design of the chlorinator, this paper also discusses the operational experience and possible solutions to be implemented in future.
Keywords : Fluid bed chlorination; titanium ore chlorination; titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4); production using fluid bed technology.