The Hunter process was the first industrial process to produce pure ductile metallic titanium. It was invented in 1910 by Matthew A. Hunter, a chemist born in New Zealand, who worked in the US. The process involved reducing titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) with sodium (Na) in a steel bomb at 700–800 °C.
- TiCl4 + 4 Na → 4 NaCl + Ti
Prior to the Hunter process, all efforts to produce Ti metal afforded highly impure material, often titanium nitride (which resembles a metal). The Hunter process was replaced by the more economical Kroll process in the 1940s. In the Kroll Process, TiCl4 is reduced by magnesium.
- M. A. Hunter "Metallic Titanium" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1910, pp 330–336. doi:10.1021/ja01921a006
- Heinz Sibum, Volker Günther, Oskar Roidl, Fathi Habashi, Hans Uwe Wolf, "Titanium, Titanium Alloys, and Titanium Compounds" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2005, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a27 095
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