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According to Bhabha Atomic Research Centers Department of Atomic Energy, the
process to manufacture Zirconium Oxychloride is:
i) Caustic fusion of the ore followed by water leaching to yield crude
ii) Dissolution of the crude zirconium hydroxide in concentrated hydrochloric
acid to obtain crude zirconyl -chloride solution. The zirconyl chloride
solution thus obtained forms the feed material for the production of either
zirconium oxide or oxychloride or both.
Link to the Bhabha Atomic Research Center:
Generally the flow sheets are proprietary and can be different for each
manufacturer, however we were able to find for you some additional
information. For example, AFM produces zirconia from naturally occurring
zircon with an energy-intensive high temperature disassociation technique to
produce zirconia with silica fume (SiO2) as by-product. It can also be produced
in plasma furnaces.
Other techniques for the production of zirconia includes by its:
*extraction using caustic soda (or at higher temperatures with soda ash) to
produce hydrated zirconia.
*reaction with chlorine (in the presence of carbon ZrSiO4 + C + 4Cl2 > ZrCl4 +
SiCl4 + 4CO) to produce zirconium tetrachloride (ZrCl4) and silicon
tetrachloride which can be separated with the very different condensation
temperatures. As with the production of its cousin, titanium dioxide, the
tetrachloride is hydrolysed to zirconium oxychloride (as imported by Hanwha)
and then calcined or precipitated with the addition of alkali.
This information was found at the website for Zircon Chemicals in Australia:
Additionally, many manufacturers prefer Zirconium because of its excellent
resistance to corrosion attack in chloride media. Zirconium is completely
resistant to all concentrations of hydrochloric acid to temperatures well in
excess of the boiling point. Even in concentrated 37 percent acid, zirconium
does not corrode appreciably until temperatures higher than 250°F are reached.
Aeration does not affect zirconium's behavior in hydrochloric acid. However,
Zirconium's resistance to hydrochloric acid is lowered by the presence of
oxidizing impurities such as cupric, ferric or nitrate ions.
Zirconium has great resistance to dry chlorine gas even at temperatures as high
as 300°F. Wet chlorine gas (saturated with water) is highly corrosive to
zirconium, causing corrosion rates of approximately 200 mils per year (mpy).
Zirconium is also very resistant to water that is saturated with chlorine gas,
exhibiting a corrosion rate of 0.5 mpy.
With very few exceptions, zirconium is completely immune to corrosion in
chlorinated hydrocarbons and other organic acids. Acetic acid, citric acid,
ethylene dichloride, formaldehyde, methyl ethyl ketone and trichloro ethylene
are just a few examples of media where zirconium is immune to corrosion.
This information can be found at the Allegheny Technologies website:
For a great website on Zirconium by Pomona Universities Chemistry department,
For a book on processing materials, visit the TMS website at:
For safety data on ZOC, see:
Zirconium Chemical Technology
Chemical Group Quarterly Process Report
Journal of Materials Research - ZOC
Millenium Chemicals data sheet
Flow chart from Stanford Materials:
Materials Safety Data Sheet:
Search terms used:
Process Zirconium Oxychloride
Zirconium Oxychloride manufacturing
Produce Zirconium Oxychloride
Zirconium Oxychloride Formation
Zirconium Oxychloride Fabrication
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