Titanium is moderately reactive, forming tetravalent compounds, including titanates (TiO32-), and less stable di- and tri-valent compounds.
Discovery of titaniumIn 1791, the Reverend William Gregor, an English clergyman and mineralogist, reported that he had discovered a magnetic black sand near the beaches of Cornwall, England. The mineral was named menachanite after the local parish of Menaccan. A few years after Gregor's discovery, Martin Klaproth, a German chemist, separated titanium dioxide (TiO2) from the mineral rutile. Klaproth named the new element titanium after the giants of Greek mythology. In 1825, Jöns Berzelius performed a crude separation of titanium metal. However, it was not until 1910 that M. A. Hunter, an American chemist, produced pure titanium. W. J. Kroll patented his method for producing titanium metal in 1938. Coincidently, commercial production of titanium metal and titanium dioxide pigment began in the 1940s.
[This section is adapted from the Mineral Information Institute's website.]
Titanium compoundsTitanium (IV) oxide (TiO2) is used as a white pigment in paints, ceramics, glass, paper, and cosmetics. It occurs naturally as the mineral rutile, from which it is extracted by chlorination. It can be extracted from ilmenite by crushing the ore and dissolving out the titanium with concentrated sulfuric acid. When the solution has been boiled down and cooled, the iron also dissolved crystallizes out and can be separated. Concentrating the liquid even further brings out the titanium as hydrated crystals if titanium sulfate. These crystals are filtered out and washed before being fed into a rotary furnace where sulfurous gases are driven off, leaving behind impure particles of titanium dioxide. After purification and grinding to the right size they are ready to be mixed with paper pulp or paint.
Titanium (IV) chloride (TiCl4) finds use as a catalyst.
External websiteTitanium (Guardian newspaper)
Related category INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
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