August 10, 2005

● Altair Nanotechnologies has been awarded
a U.S. patent from the U.S. Patent
Office for processing titaniferous ore
to titanium dioxide pigment. Patent
6,375,923, issued on April 23, is based
on a process Altair acquired from
Australian-based Broken Hill
Proprietary (BHP) in November 1999.
Based on the this patent, Altair has
filed an additional seven patent applications
and has an equal number
under development. The company has
also received a notice of allowance from
the U.S. Patent Office that all claims of
the second patent application (processing
aqueous titanium chloride solutions
to ultrafine titanium dioxide)
have been allowed. This second patent
includes required modifications to the
new patent to cover the manufacture of
titanium dioxide nanoparticles which
Altair has been developing since it
acquired the process.
Altair’s new technology is a comprehensive
process for producing white
titanium dioxide pigment from
ilmenite ore concentrates. It includes
a novel combination of processes
including extraction, purification and
pigment formation, according to the
company. Features of the new process
include lower operating cost, minimized
environmental and health risks
in the process and the recycle of all the
chemical additives used in the process,
thus eliminating essentially all the
hazardous waste disposal issues that
plague existing processes, according to
Altair Nanotechnologies.
“Our new patented process is the
first comprehensive patent for TiO2
pigment production since the DuPont
patents were awarded for the chloride
process in the 1950s,” said Rudi
Moerck, president, Altair Nanotechnologies.
“With economics of scale and
the myriad environmental advantages
over the existing chloride and sulfate
processes, this new patent provides an
extraordinary opportunity for pigment
companies to improve their overall
operations while making tremendous
contributions to the betterment of the
environment. We look forward to working
with these industry leaders as they
take advantage of the benefits offered
by the new processing technology.”

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