Construction has begun on a new 100 million pound per year titanium tetrachloride production facility at the DuPont titanium dioxide plant in New Johnsonville, Tenn. The unit is expected to begin operations in the summer of 2008. DuPont is the world's largest manufacturer of titanium dioxide, a white pigment widely used in the coatings, plastics and paper industries.
Titanium tetrachloride is an intermediate chemical produced during the early steps of the chloride process for manufacturing titanium dioxide. In addition to its use in titanium metal manufacturing, it is essential to the production of certain plastics as well as films used in shopping bags and a broad spectrum of consumer products. The chemical also has specialized applications in pearlescent and metallic pigments used in products ranging from cars and cosmetics to bicycle helmets.
Titanium metal increasingly is being used in everything from airplanes to sporting goods and chemical processing equipment.
DuPont Titanium Technologies serves customers globally in the coatings, paper and plastics industries. The company operates plants at DeLisle, Miss.; New Johnsonville, Tenn.; Edge Moor, Del.; Altamira, Mexico; and Kuan Yin, Taiwan, all of which use the chloride manufacturing process. The company also operates a plant in Uberaba, Brazil, for finishing titanium dioxide and a mine in Starke, Fla.