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How to Produce High White Superfine Talc Powder?

Author : Jordan Last Updated :

Recently, Johnson & Johnson faced significant legal liabilities due to potential cancer risks associated with its talc powder, reigniting concerns about its safety. This concern stems from the possible presence of asbestos, a known carcinogen, in some talc ore deposits.

Is talc safe to use? In its pure form, talc mineral is considered safe and non-carcinogenic. Industrial talc mining and processing typically do not involve asbestos contamination, ensuring the safety of talc products for consumers.

This blog focuses on enhancing the whiteness and fineness of talc powder to meet diverse market specifications in industries such as ceramics, cosmetics, paper, rubber, and paint.

Talc Market Specifications

Due to the different impurities and minerals it contains, the color of talc minerals may appear white, gray, green, pink, etc. The talc powder used in industry is usually refined to ensure its color is relatively pure white to meet the requirements for color purity in industrial production.

White talc

Each field has specific requirements for talc's purity, fineness, whiteness, and flake structure.

High-purity talc powder is particularly suited for industries with stringent mineral standards, such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. While the whiteness of talc powder does not directly impact talc's physical properties, it is crucial for maintaining color purity in light-colored products.

Talc powder's flake structure affects its strength and reinforcing capabilities, with purer talc exhibiting superior flake structures. Additionally, talc powder's fineness influences its reinforcing effects, with miniaturization being a key development trend in talc products.

Talc uses

Below are the detailed industry requirements for talc powder.

Industry Whiteness Fineness(mesh) Purity Moisture
Cosmetics ≥80% 200–500 SiO2≥57%, MgO≥28%, Fe2O3≤1.3% ≤1%
Paint ≥70% 400–1250 SiO2≥30%, MgO≥22%, Fe2O3≤0.4% ≤0.2%
Papermaking ≥90% 400–2000 SiO2≥45%, MgO≥25%, Fe2O3≤0.3% ≤0.2%
Plastic ≥70% 400–2000 SiO2≥45%, MgO≥25%, Fe2O3≤0.3% ≤1%
Rubber / 400–2000 SiO2≥45%, MgO≥25%, Fe2O3≤0.3% ≤1%
Cable / 400–2000 SiO2≥45%, MgO≥25%, Fe2O3≤0.3% ≤1%
Ceramic ≥75% 325–1250 SiO2≥45%, MgO≥25%, Fe2O3≤1% /
Waterproof material ≥60% 400–1250 SiO2+MgO≥77%, Fe2O3≤0.4% ≤1%

Ultra-white Fine Talc Production Process

Talc beneficiation differs from other mineral processing methods, as its primary goal is to enhance whiteness. Whiteness is a key criterion for evaluating talc product quality across various industries.

Moreover, by removing impurities, the process also boosts purity and raises the concentration of valuable minerals in talc.

This article outlines six steps, including grinding, magnetic separation, flotation separation, bleaching, calcination, and re-magnetic separation, to help you produce high-white superfine talc powder.

Step I Grinding

Given that talc will be turned into a slurry later on, wet grinding is preferable for the grinding process. This method reduces the risk of dust issues and ensures a more uniform particle size.

It is recommended to use wet grinding for talc, where the talc is first crushed and then processed in a ball mill to achieve a particle size of 0.074 mm for slurry production.

Step II Magnetic separation

The associated minerals of talc may contain magnetic minerals such as hematite and iron sand, which affect the fineness and whiteness of talc. To reduce the iron content, the slurry needs to pass through a wet magnetic separator to remove iron, reducing the iron content of talc to less than 1%.

Step III Flotation separation

After magnetic separation, the slurry concentration is adjusted to 25% for fluoride-free flotation, which removes harmful trace elements such as potassium, sodium, and aluminum.

Talc's natural hydrophobicity allows bubbles to easily adsorb to its surface in the flotation tank, facilitating talc flotation without the need for a collector. Only MIBC frother and CMC inhibitor are required. Following flotation, the slurry concentration is raised to 50%, and chemicals are added to further remove impurities.

The pharmaceutical ratio is raw ore: water: pharmaceutical = 100:50:30, with oxalic acid and hydrochloric acid forming the pharmaceutical at a ratio of oxalic acid: hydrochloric acid = 20:10. Stirring at room temperature for 0.5–3 hours promotes impurity removal through a chemical reaction.

Step Bleach

The commercial value of talc is closely related to its whiteness. To improve the whiteness, it is recommended to carry out bleaching treatment after flotation.

In the slurry after impurity removal, add 0.5–3 kg of reducing powder for bleaching, and then wash it with clean water 2–3 times. The PH value of the bleached slurry reaches 6.8–7.5. 

Step Calcination

After bleaching, the talc enters the rotary kiln for calcination. The calcination temperature is 800–1300°C and the calcination time is 3–4 hours.

It is recommended to add 4–8 kg of sodium chloride whitening agent per ton during the calcination process. During the calcination process, sodium chloride gradually removes part of the crystal water and organic matter by destroying the crystal structure lattice, thereby whitening and removing impurities.

Step Magnetic separation

The calcined and cooled talc enters the magnetic separator again to remove iron. Choosing a dry magnetic separator can also help break up the agglomerated powder.

Finally, a high-quality talc powder with a whiteness of 95%–99%, a fineness of 800 mesh, and a Mg content of more than 33% is obtained. 


Author : Jordan Jordan is the writer of the blog with a broad knowledge of this industry. Most importantly, he hopes to help you in your projects sincerely.

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