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Biofuels as renewable reductants for the processing of ilmenite to produce synthetic rutile

Spencer, W., Ibana, D., Singh, P. and Nikoloski, A.N. (2022) Biofuels as renewable reductants for the processing of ilmenite to produce synthetic rutile. Minerals Engineering, 187 . Art. 107808.

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This study assessed the technical feasibility of using biofuels as renewable reductants in the production of synthetic rutile (88–95% TiO2) from ilmenite (FeTiO3) by the Becher process. Three biofuels were evaluated—charcoal (CC), wood kindling (WK) and gum tree sticks (GTS)—for the quality of the synthetic rutile products that were produced from a representative ilmenite sample and compared with that of a Western Australian coal (WAC), which is typical of coals that are being used in this technology. The results show that the carbon content of the different reductants ranged from 46% each for GTS and WK to 82% for CC, compared with 58% for WAC. The renewable reductants yielded synthetic rutile products with TiO2 content between 93% for GTS and 95% each for CC and WK, compared with 94% for WAC. The iodine numbers of carbon residues from the reduction process were 900 each for WK, CC and GTS, while that of WAC was 700. Overall, these results indicate that biofuels could be alternatives to coal in the production of synthetic rutile from ilmenite.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Water, Energy and Waste
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2022 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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