Titanium Dioxide Metals Recovery

Michael Grimley  |  01 - 09 - 2023

World production of titanium dioxide (TiO2) surpassed 8 million metric tonnes in 2020 with waste values ranging from 1.6 to 5 te/te.

As the European Union have identified TiO2 in waste as a carcinogen in certain concentrations, and the World Health Organisation reporting in a similar vein, there is an opportunity to improve the environmental footprint of TiO2 processes by recovering TiO2 and other ‘hazardous’ metals in waste streams that currently form part of the neutralised waste mud. As the waste also contains vanadium, classed as a mutagen, as well as other valuable metals such as scandium and niobium, treating this waste would be a win-win for processors, obtaining commercially saleable valuable metals while also reducing landfill costs and environmental impact.

Given this, GSAe have been engaged in a number of projects in Europe, Australia and the Middle East to investigate both neutralised and this pre-neutralised waste residue. Using our patented, zero solid waste route that has been developed in-house, GSAe has commercially beneficial solutions to treat the waste stream, providing the following benefits to the producer:

  • Improved environmental footprint of process
  • Production of valuable metals at saleable purities
    • vanadium pentoxide,
    • scandium (III) oxide
    • niobium pentoxide
    • Iron Chloride/sulphate/oxide.hydroxide (goethite)
  • Carbon and TiO2 recycle to the producer
  • Enhanced Gypsum production
  • Reduced OPEX for existing neutralisation plant
  • Elimination of landfill costs
  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/759972/mine-production-titanium-minerals-worldwideby-country/

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