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Argex enhances production capacity of TiO2 plant in a bid to cut operating costs

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 12-Sep-2012
Last updated on 12-Sep-2012 at 16:34 GMT2012-09-12T16:34:29Z

Argex Titanium has completed the scale up of its production facility for high purity titanium dioxide at its pilot plant as it looks to cut operating costs and increase TiO2 production volume.

In cosmetic and skin care products, titanium dioxide is used as a pigment, sunscreen and a thickener.

Argex’s production capacity has increased from 0.3 kg/day to 10kg/day, a 3,000 percent increase in production, and was achieved in two stages.

First, the 3 kg/day capacity plant was installed and tested. A new 10 kg/day capacity plant was then constructed in an adjacent building. The pilot plant is located at PRO in Mississauga, Ontario.

Primary purposes

"The primary purposes of the scale-up were to decrease pilot plant operating costs and increase TiO2 production volume, thus permitting end-user sampling on a much larger scale for use in their paint production. We can now produce more than three tonnes of TiO2 per year from our Mississauga plant," said Enrico Di Cesare, COO and vice president of Technology for Argex.

"Scalability was never an issue. The delays experienced in the scale-up of the pilot plant were due to delivery delays and minor - but necessary - design changes to the building. This will not be a factor in the construction of our industrial plant."

Argex CEO and president Roy Bonnell highlighted the significance of the new facility for the company, stating it would help Argex push on to the next level.

Proprietary mineral extraction

The CTL chemical technology process employed by Argex at the facility, is a proprietary mineral extraction process that allows for the production of high purity pigment grade TiO2 product, which can then be sold to end-users.

“The process is unique in that it produces high-purity TiO2 in a single location through a single process directly from the ore material. The equipment used in all parts of the process is known and readily available,” claims Argex.

“The process is also environmentally friendly due to its high energy efficiency, low emissions and its closed-loop design, which uses relatively low concentrations of hydrochloric acid that is regenerated after use in the process.”

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