Reduction of Ilmenite in a Commercial Rotary Kiln - An X-Ray Diffraction Study

Reid A F,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 22
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1973
Since early 1971 Western Titanium N.L. has been operating an ilmenite upgrading plant on a commercial basis at Capel, Western Australia. In their process ilmenite is pre- oxidized, then reduced in a rotary kiln to a mixture of metallic iron and titanium oxides. The iron is leached out by accelerated rusting in aerated water, leaving a product with titanium content, expressed as Ti02, of about 92%. Samples from different stages of the up- grading process, representing operations over the last two years, have been studied in detail by X-ray diffraction methods, and the sequences of phases and reactions occurring have been determined. Quantitative X-ray studies showed the ilmenite feed materials to consist of a mixture of ilmenite and pseudo- rutile. Pre-oxidation of the ilmenite at =1000¦C leads to the formation of rutile plus a Fe2TiO5-FeTi205-Mn2TiO5 solid solution. The final reduction product consisted of a mixture of metallic iron, reduced rutile and a FeTi05-MnTi205-Ti305 solid solution. The relative amounts of these reduction products were very sensitive to the initial concentra- tions of the minor constituents manganese and magnesium. The effects of variation of ilmenite feed rate, reducing atmosphere,- reduction temperature and controlled addition of magnesium were also studied.
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