Titanium dioxide powder

Titanium dioxide, systematically titanium (IV) oxide, is a white, rather nonreactive oxide containing titanium in the +4 oxidation state. It is by far the most commonly encountered titanium compound, as it has multiple industrial uses. Many of these uses are to do with its colour (or lack thereof); it is used in both white paint, sunscreen and white icing, among other things. It has the chemical formula TiO2.

Properties Edit


Titanium dioxide is a white, insoluble solid with a melting point of around 1830°C.[1]


Although titanium dioxide is insoluble in water and dilute acids, it dissolves when heated with sulfuric acid, potassium hydrogen sulfate, or pyrosulfate, forming titanium(IV) sulfate. However, some store-bought grades are so unreactive that they will not dissolve in even hot concentrated acids. Titanium dioxide produces titanates when fused with alkalis or alkali carbonates. Thus titanium dioxide possesses both basic and acidic properties, and so differs from silica, which is not basic.[2]

Availability Edit

Paint stores are a good place to start looking. A place that sells only tinned paint may be unlikely to sell the dry powder but small art and craft/pottery/paint stores may have some. Online pigment suppliers sell it in bulk.

Another place to look is wedding cake stores. TiO2 is a major component in the icing for wedding cakes, giving them that typical extremely white color. Stores may possibly have some TiO2 for sale but what is far more likely is that the cakes are made on the premises, so the owner/cake maker will most likely have a large stockpile of TiO2. If they are unwilling to part with any of this stockpile, even for the exchange of currency, they should at least tell you where they get it from. Food additives can be washed away with water leave behind insoluble TiO2.

As with most chemicals, it is available from most scientific suppliers.


Ignition of titanium metal in air forms relatively pure titanium dioxide, but may also contain some titanium nitride.


  • Titanium thermite


Titanium dioxide is a relatively harmless compound, but like all compounds that are used in powder form, when dealing with TiO2 powder, it is best to avoid breathing it in since this can irritate the lungs and potentially lead to lung cancer if enough is deposited there.[3]


  1. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 66th Edition, 1985

Relevant Sciencemadness threadsEdit

Mad Science with Titanium Dioxide

Anodizing Titanium

Titanium(IV) Chloride from Titanium Dioxide

Titanium metal from TiO2 thermite reaction