BY CHISOM IBEMERE
Anatase is a mineral that has been in existence since ancient times. It was first described scientifically in 1801 by the German mineralogist Abraham Gottlob Werner. It is named after the Greek word “anatasis,” which means extension or elongation, in reference to its elongated crystal structure. Anatase is a polymorph of titanium dioxide, meaning it has the same chemical composition as rutile and brookite, but a different crystal structure.
Anatase is found in many geological settings, including hydrothermal veins, granite, gneiss, and pegmatites. It is also a common mineral in sedimentary rocks and is formed through the alteration of other titanium minerals. Anatase is found in many countries worldwide including Brazil, China, Italy, Russia, Germany, and the United States.
Anatase has a variety of uses, including as a white pigment in paint and coatings, as a catalyst in the chemical industry, as a semiconductor in electronics, and in the production of titanium metal. It is also used in the production of solar cells and as a photocatalyst in environmental remediation. Anatase is a key component in the development of titanium-based materials, which are widely used in aerospace, military, medical, and other high-tech applications.
Anatase is a tetragonal mineral with a crystal structure that can be elongated or tabular. It has a bright, metallic luster and can range in color from pale yellow to nearly black, although the most common color is dark brown. Anatase has a Mohs hardness of 5.5 to 6 and a specific gravity of 3.8 to 3.9. It has moderate reflectivity and is not magnetic.
Anatase has significant economic value due to its use as a source of titanium metal and as a white pigment in paint and coatings. The global titanium dioxide market is expected to reach USD 25.12 billion by 2026, with anatase being one of the key minerals used in its production. As demand for high-tech applications and environmental remediation continues to grow, the value of anatase is expected to increase further.