Main content area

Life cycle assessment comparison of emerging and traditional Titanium dioxide manufacturing processes

Middlemas, Scott, Fang, Z. Zak, Fan, Peng
Journal of cleaner production 2015 v.89 pp. 137-147
carbon dioxide, energy, environmental impact, greenhouse gas emissions, hydrolysis, industrial applications, leaching, life cycle assessment, manufacturing, nanomaterials, recycling, slags, solvents, sulfates, temperature, titanium dioxide, washing
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is used as pigment in a wide variety of domestic and industrial applications, and is becoming an increasingly valuable nanomaterial. TiO2 is manufactured by the traditional sulfate process or high temperature chloride process. Several hydrometallurgical processes for manufacturing TiO2 have recently emerged to reduce the environmental impact of TiO2 production. A new process is reported that features alkaline roasting of titania slag (ARTS), with subsequent washing, leaching, solvent extraction, hydrolysis, and calcination stages, and implements the recycling and regeneration of alkaline and acid process streams to minimize waste generation. A virtual ARTS processing plant is described in detail and is used to conduct an LCA comparison with the sulfate, chloride, and Altairnano processes. The cumulative energy demand (CED) and total CO2 emissions for the ARTS process are 92.6 MJ/kg TiO2 and 7.47 kg CO2/kg TiO2, respectively, which compares favorably with the traditional and Altairnano processes.