DuPont Globalizes Titanium Tetrachloride Business
New Technology and Growing Economies Spur Demand for Intermediate Chemical
WILMINGTON, Del., July 19, 2006 - DuPont’s sales of titanium tetrachloride have tripled in the last three years, spurred by new technology and the increasing demands of rapidly emerging consumer economies.
Titanium tetrachloride is an intermediate chemical produced during the early steps of the chloride process of manufacturing titanium dioxide (TiO 2). DuPont is the world’s largest manufacturer of titanium dioxide, a white pigment widely used in coatings, paper and plastics manufacturing.
In addition to its role in the titanium dioxide process, titanium tetrachloride is a key ingredient in the manufacture of titanium metal, used increasingly in everything from airplanes to sporting goods and chemical processing equipment. It is essential to the production of certain plastics and 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.
“For many years after DuPont invented the chloride method of manufacturing TiO 2 in the 1950s, we regarded titanium tetrachloride solely as an ingredient and not as a product with its own value in the marketplace,” said Rick Olson, vice president and general manager of DuPont Titanium Technologies. “Basically, we produced only what we needed for internal consumption. But now, with expanded applications spurring growing global demand, the game has changed.”
A key advantage DuPont enjoys is the flexibility of its TiO 2 process which allows it to fine-tune production volumes of titanium tetrachloride with little effect on TiO 2 manufacturing operations. This precision allows the company to meet the demands of internal and external customers alike. Specialized technology also allows the company to control the purity of the product for specific applications, with the purer grades being more valuable. Another advantage is the global nature of DuPont’s titanium tetrachloride network, including production facilities, sales and technical support.
“Each of our titanium dioxide plants is also a titanium tetrachloride unit. With five existing plants and a new one planned in China, we have the kind of global reach we need to serve our existing customers and to accommodate new ones in growing economies,” said Gerry Colamarino, business manager for DuPont Titanium Intermediates. “We expect the global market for titanium tetrachloride to double in the next five to seven years and we hope to capture a significant share of that growth.”
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. Technical service centers are located in Uberaba, Brazil; Mexico City, Mexico; Mechelen, Belgium; Kuan Yin, Taiwan; Ulsan, Korea; Wilmington, Del.; and Shanghai, China, to serve the European, Middle Eastern, U.S., Asian and Latin America markets.
DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.
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- DuPont Titanium Technologies
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