Sources of Titanium

Titanium is present in meteorites and the sun. Rocks obtained during the Apollo 17 lunar mission showed presence of 12.1% TiO2; rocks obtained during earlier Apollo missions show lower percentages.

 

Titanium oxide bands are prominent in the spectra of M-type stars. The element is the ninth most abundant in the crust of the earth. Titanium is almost always present in igneous rocks and in the sediments derived from them.

 

It occurs in the minerals rutile, ilmenite, and sphene, and is present in titanates and in many iron ores. Titanium is present in ash of coal, in plants, and in human body.

 

The metal was a laboratory curiosity until Kroll, in 1946, showed that titanium could be produced commercially by reducing titanium tetrachloride with magnesium. This method is still largely used for producing the metal. The metal can be purified by decomposing the iodide.

 

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