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Titanium dioxide

Titanium dioxide, also known as

titanium(IV) oxide or titania, is the naturally
occurring oxide of titanium, chemical
formula TiO2. When used as a pigment, it is
called titanium white, Pigment White 6, or.
It is noteworthy for its wide range of
applications, from paint to sunscreen to food

1. Introduction to titanium (Ti) element

Titanium is transition element; i. e. has an incomplete inner electron shell, with valance
electrons in two shells of only one. It is characterized by colored compounds and the
ability to form stable complex ions
It is a silvery lustrous hard metal, powder form buns in air. It is only stable in the
atmosphere because of an oxide passivation layer. It has a pronounced tendency to form
oxides which are very stable. In native it occur only in the form of its oxide or mixed
oxides with other elements.

It is un-reactive with alkaline and most acids, has high melting and boiling point (1600 –
3287ºC) its critical temp is 5577ºC.
It is atomic weight is 47.88g/mole, and its atomic number is 22.
Its electron configuration is 1S2 2S2 2P6 3S2 4S2 2d2 OR (Ar) 4S2 3d2, this shows that
it has two S electrons in the outermost shell and two D electrons in the second outermost
shell. Please refer to fig. 1 Removal of the S electrons gives the +2 oxidation state,
further removal of one or two d electrons would give the +3 and +4 states. The most
important oxidation state of titanium is +4 and the most important count is the white
titanium dioxide (TiO2) compound exhibiting oxidation states of +2 or +3 are color and
paramagnetic, because of the present of unpaired d electrons. They are also good
reducing agents. In the earths crust, Ti is the 9th most abundant) 0.54% by mass ) and
ranks ahead of such familiar elements as chlorine, carbon and sulfur. However it is
distributed very widely and commercial useful deposits are scares. I is also present in
oceanic crust (0.90%) and in metallic meteorite (0.043%).

Natural occurrence

Titanium dioxide occurs in four forms:

• rutile, a tetragonal mineral usually of prismatic habit, often twinned;

• anatase or octahedrite, a tetragonal mineral of dipyramidal habit;
• brookite, an orthorhombic mineral. Both anatase and brookite are relatively rare
• Titanium dioxide (B) or TiO2(B), a monoclinic mineral.
Titanium dioxide occurrences in nature are never pure; it is found with contaminant
metals such as iron. The oxides can be mined and serve as a source for commercial
titanium. The metal can also be mined from other minerals such as ilmenite or leucoxene
ores, or one of the purest forms, rutile beach sand.


Titanium dioxide is the most widely used white pigment because of its brightness and
very high refractive index (n=2.4), in which it is surpassed only by a few other materials.
When deposited as a thin film, its refractive index and colour make it an excellent
reflective optical coating for dielectric mirrors and some gemstones, for example "mystic
fire topaz". TiO2 is also an effective opacifier in powder form, where it is employed as a
pigment to provide whiteness and opacity to products such as paints, coatings, plastics,
papers, inks, foods, medicines (i.e. pills and tablets) as well as most toothpastes. Used as
a white food colouring, it has E number E171. In cosmetic and skin care products,
titanium dioxide is used both as a pigment and a thickener. It is also used as a tattoo
pigment and styptic pencils.

This pigment is used extensively in plastics and other applications for its UV resistant
properties where it acts as a UV reflector.

In ceramic glazes titanium dioxide acts as an opacifier and seeds crystal formation. In
almost every sunscreen with a physical blocker, titanium dioxide is found both because of
its refractive index and its resistance to discolouration under ultraviolet light. This
advantage enhances its stability and ability to protect the skin from ultraviolet light.
Sunscreens designed for infants or people with sensitive skin are often based on titanium
dioxide and/or zinc oxide, as these mineral UV blockers are less likely to cause skin
irritation than chemical UV absorber ingredients, such as avobenzone.

Titanium oxide is also used as a semi-conductor.[2]

As a photocatalyst

Titanium dioxide, particularly in the anatase form, is a photocatalyst under ultraviolet

light. Recently it has been found that titanium dioxide, when spiked with nitrogen ions, is
also a photocatalyst under visible light. The strong oxidative potential of the positive
holes oxidizes water to create hydroxyl radicals. It can also oxidize oxygen or organic
materials directly. Titanium dioxide is thus added to paints, cements, windows, tiles, or
other products for sterilizing, deodorizing and anti-fouling properties and is also used as a
hydrolysis catalyst. It is also used in the Graetzel cell, a type of chemical solar cell.

Titanium dioxide has potential for use in energy production: as a photocatalyst, it can:

1. carry out hydrolysis, i.e., break water into hydrogen and oxygen. Were the
hydrogen collected, it could be used as a fuel. The efficiency of this process can
be greatly improved by doping the oxide with carbon, as described in "Carbon-
doped titanium dioxide is an effective photocatalyst" [1].
2. produce electricity when in nanoparticle form. Research suggests that by using
these nanoparticles to form the pixels of a screen, they generate electricity when
transparent and under the influence of light. If subjected to electricity on the other
hand, the nanoparticles blacken, forming the basic characteristics of a LCD
screen. According to creator Zoran Radivojevic, Nokia has already built a
functional 200 by 200 pixels monochromatic screen which is energetically self-

As TiO2 is exposed to UV light, it becomes increasingly hydrophilic; thus, it can be used

for anti-fogging coatings or self-cleaning windows. TiO2 incorporated into outdoor
building materials, such as paving stones in noxer blocks, can substantially reduce
concentrations of airborne pollutants such as volatile organic compounds and nitrogen

For wastewater remediation

TiO2 offers great potential as an industrial technology for detoxification or remediation

of wastewater due to several factors.

1. The process occurs under ambient conditions.

2. The formation of photocyclized intermediate products, unlike direct photolysis
techniques, is avoided.
3. Oxidation of the substrates to CO2 is complete.
4. The photocatalyst is inexpensive and has a high turnover.
5. TiO2 can be supported on suitable reactor substrates.

Other applications

It is also used in resistance-type lambda probes (a type of oxygen sensor).

Titanium dioxide is what allows osseointegration between an artificial medical implant

and bone.

Titanium dioxide in solution or suspension can be used to cleave protein that contains the
amino acid proline at the site where proline is present. This breakthrough in cost-effective
protein splitting took place at ASU in 2006. [3]

Titanium dioxide on silica is being developed as a form of odor control in cat litter. The
purchased photocatalyst is vastly cheaper than the purchased silica beads, per usage, and
prolongs their effective odor-eliminating life substantially.

The National Titanium Dioxide Company Ltd has been manufacturing TiO2 (using
imported rutile ore) at its ultra-modern Yanbu Al-Sinaiyah plant in Saudi Arabia since
1991. We market our products under the increasingly well-known Cristal brand.

With our HQ in Jeddah and offices in both the UK and Singapore, we’re ideally placed to
provide your business with high-quality TiO2. We are a limited liability company, owned
by three partners, the National Industrialization Company (Saudi Arabia), the Gulf
Investment Corporation (Kuwait), and a private investor.

In 2002, we increased our original TiO2 production capacity from 70,000 metric tonnes a
year to 100,000 metric tonnes – in line with a projected annual rise in world demand of
around 3% to 2005. This expansion makes Cristal the largest privately owned chemical
company in Saudi Arabia. It also reinforces our position as one of the world’s most
important suppliers of exportable TiO2.

We are planning to expand our network of offices further in the future and will keep you
posted on all developments through this website.


Titanium dioxide pigment (TiO2) is a white powder which offers high opacity, brilliant
whiteness and exceptional UV resistance. Such unique qualities have turned it into an
essential ingredient in the manufacture of paints, inks, plastics and rubber. It is also used
in other products such soap and toiletries, adhesives, concrete curing compounds, candles
and crayons.

The pigment is extracted commercially mainly from naturally occurring rutile or anatase
oxides and titanates. As a crystalline inorganic material it is completely colourless. This
means it can generate brilliant whiteness by reflecting and repeatedly refracting visible
light extremely efficiently.
Cristal TiO2 is inert, non-toxic and available in a variety of grades to deliver the colour,
tone, strength and protection required by an increasingly diverse global market for
premium-quality white pigments.

TiO2 is a high-demand product. The paint industry is its largest user, consuming more
than 50% of world TiO2 production, while plastic consumes 19% and paper 17%.

Not surprisingly, the largest TiO2 consumer is the United States (33%), followed by
Europe (24%) and Japan (8%). Over the next decade, substantial growth in consumption
is expected in developing economies in more densely populated countries (for example,
India and China)


To find out more about the different grades of TiO2 we offer, click on any of the six
product links on the right-hand side. If you're not sure on which Cristal product is right
for your needs, click on our 'Product Selection Guide'. With this handy chart, you can
compare our products and determine suitability.

Cristal produce TiO2 using the ‘chloride route’ – state-of-the-art technology first
acquired by Cristal’s technology provider in 1967 and subsequently developed and
licensed worldwide.

The chloride route produces TiO2 of superior whiteness, brightness and tight particle size
control – qualities vital in manufacturing the coatings and plastics which account for
some 80% of the world TiO2 market.

The future of the chloride process looks bright given its inherent advantages over the
alternative ‘sulphate method’. This method generates higher levels of waste, acid effluent
and overall pollution.

Around 60% of world production of TiO2 is by the chloride process. This is forecast to
increase to 70% by 2010.

Quality considerations lie at the heart of all processes at our Yanbu Al-Sinaiyah plant.
Since 1995, internal quality management systems have been certified to ISO 9002. Work
is now well under way to ensure a smooth transition to the new ISO 9001:2000 standard.

Affiliation to the American Society for Quality (ASQ) USA and the Institute of Quality
Assurance (IQA) UK reflects our commitment to developing effective quality
management strategies throughout all areas of our operation.


CRISTAL 100 is a grade of rutile titanium dioxide produced by the Chloride process that
is lattice stabilized with alumina. It is recommended for use in many paint and ink
applications, especially where gloss, colour and strength are prime factors.

CRISTAL 100 is easily dispersed under simple high shear dispersion, in both solvent and
water-based systems. It has the potential for exceptionally high gloss in interior coatings,
automotive refinishes, inks and any industrial coatings, where the gloss parameter is of
major importance.

CRISTAL 100 is highly recommended as an exceptional performer in letterpress and

gravure inks where gloss and low abrasivity are required. It is also recommended in thin
film applications such as can coatings, where opacity and strength are required.


CRISTAL 113 is an alumina/silica modified rutile pigment, produced by the chloride

process. The pigment has been designed for use in highly loaded flat and semi-gloss
finishes, both water and solvent based. The product offers exceptional hiding power when
dry compared with traditional multi-purpose grades and can offer improved performance
when formulated correctly.

CRISTAL 113 exhibits excellent brightness, high tint strength and an exceptionally clean
tint tone as well as an outstanding dry hiding potential. Wet hiding of the product is
equivalent to the multi-purpose grades used in the same applications. With a higher than
average TiO2 content for pigments in its class, it also exhibits a lower level of porosity
than conventional pigments, leading to improved wash and scrub resistance.

CRISTAL 113 is also recommended for use in high hiding low gloss water based
flexographic inks where the exceptional coverage provided by the pigment is of benefit.
The grade also finds some use in textiles and paper where a rutile grade is desirable.


CRISTAL 121 is an alumina/silica modified rutile pigment produced by the chloride

process. Designed for use as a multipurpose grade it offers a blend of good optical
performance with a high level of durability for an optimum balance required by pigments
used in exterior applications. As well as being suitable for exterior applications, its
suitability for interior use means it can offer advantages to formulators in minimizing

CRISTAL 121 is recommended for many classes of coatings including architectural,

industrial and maintenance coatings. It is suitable for use in solvent or water based
applications for either interior or exterior use. It can also be used in plastics where
durability is of consideration, and can also be used in powder coatings.

CRISTAL 122 is an alumina/silica modified rutile pigment produced by the chloride
process. It has been designed for use in all applications where the highest level of
durability is required.

CRISTAL 122 offers users an exceptionally high degree of gloss retention as well as a
stable colour profile in exterior applications. It is characterized by superior exterior
weathering properties.

CRISTAL 122 is recommended for exterior applications, in architectural, industrial and

maintenance finishes. It is also recommended for powder coatings where extra durability
is required, and highly recommended for enhancing the performance of vinyl sidings and
profiles in PVC exterior applications.


CRISTAL 128 is a grade of rutile pigment produced by the chloride process and is
modified with Alumina and Zirconia. It is a universal grade of Titanium dioxide, which
has been designed for the broadest range of applications, combining excellent optical
properties with good durability.

CRISTAL 128 is characterized by exceptionally high gloss, ease of dispersion, excellent

opacity, high tint strength, an exceptionally clean tint tone and good weathering

CRISTAL 128 is recommended for all classes of coatings including architectural,

industrial, maintenance, solvent and water based. It can be used in both interior and
exterior applications. It can also be readily used in powder coatings, where the optical
performance is of prime importance.


CRISTAL 134 is an alumina lattice-stabilised rutile pigment produced by the chloride

process and is specifically designed for plastic and plastisol applications. The grade is
characterized by its fine particle size, providing a blue tone, which is widely recognized
as required for Plastic applications.

CRISTAL 134 is widely accepted in polyolefin master batch formulations and is also
recommended for rigid vinyl pipe formulations and can be used in other applications
including PVC floor tiles, vinyl wall-coverings and some rubbers.

CRISTAL 134 meets the Plastic Pipe Institute guidelines for formulation substitution and
is authorised by the National Sanitation Foundation for general Interchangeability in NSF
listed formulations. It is also certified for use in food contact applications according to
EC directive 95/3/EEC for heavy metal content.
Quality Service:

CRISTAL is dedicated to a process of continual improvement in the quality of its

products. To help achieve this, CRISTAL has established modern quality control
standards and management system in key business areas. CRISTAL works closely with
SASO, the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization, in compliance with ISO, ASTM and
EN quality control standards.

CRISTAL offers a full range of product application services for Titanium dioxide. The
Technical Lab tests, evaluates application and recommends the most suitable grade,
whatever the end-user for TiO2. Such tests are conducted at its own weathering station at
Yanbu, which monitors the exposure performance in extreme climatic conditions. Every
lot of CRISTAL TiO2 is tested for quality and conformity prior to shipment. CRISTAL
is an Efficient Regional TiO2 Producer and a Sophisticated Marketer with a premium
Quality Product and Service Second to None.

Naturally, we provide your business with a full range of product services. Our Technical
Services Department handles all customer requests about TiO2 uses through our Jeddah

Our QC lab in Yanbu comes fully equipped for testing paints, pigments, plastics, powder
coatings and inks. This includes the investigative and legislative issues concerning
foodstuff contact applications, for which Cristal is certified to manufacture and sell

Other facilities include a natural weathering station located in a high UV marine

environment on the Arabian Gulf and PAL equipment for simulating an accelerated
weathering process on diverse customer products. Window profiles, powder coatings,
plastic sheet and paints are just some examples of applications we have tested recently.

We provide you with six packing options. This means you can take delivery of Cristal
TiO2 products in the quantity that best suits your business.

Our willingness to offer you a superior service is not restricted to technical matters. Our
Marketing Support Services can assist you on a commercial basis, with powerful sales
ordering tools and logistics management systems.

Quality Assurance:
Quality Assurance is a part of quality management focused on providing confidence that
quality requirements are fulfilled. This confidence can be achieved by the certification of
product for ISO standard i.e. ISO 9001:2000.

CRISTAL was certified by ISO 9002:1994 in the year 1995 for the plant and for
Marketing in 1997. And again got certified with the new standard ISO 9001:2000 in the
year 2003. CRISTAL is one of the first top 10 countries in the Middle East to be certified
by ISO 9001:2000.

• This quality management system (QMS) has been created, is being maintained,
implemented and its effectiveness will be continually improved to achieve compliance
with ISO 9001-2000.
• Processes needed by for the quality management system are identified in this quality
manual and in associated quality procedures and work instructions.
• The standard shows the sequence and interaction of CRISTAL’s quality
management system general processes.
• The criteria and methods for effective control of processes are defined in ISO
• Management Representative is responsible for determining resources and
information requirements necessary to support the operation and monitoring of quality
management system processes, and for communicating these requirements to top
• Monitoring of these processes is found within available controlled documents
throughout the organization.
• Upon completion of measurement and monitoring of the processes and analysis of
data, appropriate action is taken to ensure that planned results are achieved and
opportunities for planned improvements are acted on and documented on Corrective/
Preventive Action Report.

Research and Technology

As part of our commitment to delivering new, innovative products, we invest

significantly in many areas of research. Only through applying an open mind, can we
bring improvements to the processes and products we have in place.

We see our relationships with our customers as an open dialogue. We don’t simply
manufacture and sell TiO2. Instead, we endeavour to build a partnership whereby you
can always rely on us to help your business towards greater success. You might, for
instance, gain significant business benefit with Cristal testing new TiO2 applications on
your behalf.

This is very much part of the Cristal way of working – getting involved and creating
nothing less than the best. Our team of researchers works tirelessly to deliver products
that surpass the needs and expectations of our customers. With world-class testing
facilities and a level of expertise that few can match, we believe we are the ideal team
with which to join forces.

If you are part of an organization that is keen to collaborate on projects with us, please
get in touch. You’ll discover we are forward thinkers who are always willing to enter into
a dialogue and examine the endless possibilities. Together, we can create great things.


We recognize our Yanbu Al-Sinaiyah plant as more than just a chemical manufacturing
facility. It has a critical role to play in developing the community infrastructure in the
surrounding Royal Commission of Yanbu residential areas. We also have a duty to act as
guardian to the delicate ecosystems in an area which includes some of the world’s most
beautiful coral reef diving areas.

To ensure we meet our obligations, we’ve established an environmental management

system, specified to exceed both national and international regulations. We achieved the
acclaimed environmental management standard ISO 14001 certification in the year 2005.

Our teams of dedicated environmental engineers monitor the treatment and recycling of
all solid, liquid and gaseous waste. Through their efforts and expertise, we ensure we
keep to an absolute minimum any adverse effects on the environment caused by the TiO2
production process.

The result has been a continuous reduction in air emissions and strict adherence to our
policy of zero discharge into the Red Sea. We are proud to be protecting this magnificent
stretch of coastline.

Elsewhere, we’ve improved dust control and upgraded effluent management. We also
continue to enhance the aesthetics of our surrounds through a carefully considered
program of grass and tree planting.