Kroll process

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Kroll Process is a pyrometallurgical industrial process used to produce metallic titanium. It was invented by William J. Kroll in Luxembourg. After moving to the United States, Kroll further developed the method for the production of zirconium. The Kroll process replaced the Hunter process for almost all commercial production.


Refined rutile (or ilmenite) from the ore is reduced with petroleum-derived coke in a fluidized bed reactor at 1000 °C. The mixture is then treated with chlorine gas, affording titanium tetrachloride TiCl<sub>4</sub> and other volatile chlorides, which are subsequently separated by continuous fractional distillation. In a separate reactor, the TiCl<sub>4</sub> is reduced by liquid magnesium (15-20% excess) at 800-850 °C in a stainless steel retort to ensure complete reduction:
2Mg(l) + TiCl<sub>4</sub>(g) → 2MgCl<sub>2</sub>(l) + Ti(s)
Complications result from partial reduction of the titanium to its lower chlorides TiCl<sub>2</sub> and TiCl<sub>3</sub>. The MgCl<sub>2</sub> can be further refined back to magnesium. <!-- seems too detailed an inexplicable as well given the subsequent text "After...
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