Titanium Tetrachloride(TiCl4) is produced by the chloride process, which involves the reduction of titanium oxide ores, typically ilmenite (FeTiO3) with carbon under flowing chlorine at 900 °C. Impurities are removed by distillation.
2 FeTiO3 + 7 Cl2 + 6 C → 2 TiCl4 + 2 FeCl3 + 6 CO
The coproduction of FeCl3 is undesirable, which has motivated the development of alternative technologies. Instead of directly using ilmenite, “rutile slag” is used. This material, an impure form of TiO2, is derived from ilmenite by removal of iron, either using carbon reduction or extraction with sulfuric acid. Crude TiCl4 contains a variety of other volatile halides, including vanadyl chloride (VOCl3), silicon tetrachloride (SiCl4), and tin tetrachloride (SnCl4), which must be separated.