University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Ecology and Natural Resources Collection

Page View

Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)

Collins, Cynthia T.
Iron oxide pigments,   pp. 457-464 PDF (730.7 KB)


Page 457

  457Iron Oxide Pigments 
By Cynthia T. Collins1 
 Production and trade in finished iron oxide pigments were up in 1978, owing
to continued strong demand for pigments in building materials, industrial
coatings, and commercial paints. A decline in the construction and automotive
industries in 1979 resulted in lower demand for pigments. Total U.S. production
for the year increased, however, owing to the first full year of production
by Mobay Chemical Corp. The first stage of Mobay's new synthetic iron oxide
pigment plant at New Martinsville, W. Va., was completed in the third quarter
of 1978. Production began late in the year, and shipments started early in
1979. The final stage of the 45,000-ton-per-year capacity plant was scheduled
for completion late in 1980. 
 Early in 1979, Pfizer Inc. completed an expansion at its Easton, Pa., plant
where production capacity for copperas red pigment was increased by 25%.
Cities Service Co. formed a new subsidiary, Columbian Chemicals Co., in 1979.
Production and sales 
of iron oxide pigments are now functions of the latter company. Capacity
of the Columbian Chemicals plant at Monmouth Junction, N.J., was expanded
by 20% in 1979. Chemetron Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Allegheny Ludlum
Industries Inc., sold its Pigments Division to BASF Wyandotte Corp., the
U.S. branch of the BASF AG Group of the Federal Republic of Germany. The
transaction included the synthetic iron oxide pigment plant at Huntington,
W. Va. In 1978 Mineral Pigments Corp. phased out production of natural iron
oxide pigments made from raw materials. The company now markets only blends
made from purchased pigments. 
 In December 1978, the Dry Color Manufacturèrs' Association established
a committee of iron oxide pigment producers to conduct a literature search
on the safety of iron oxide. The committee intends to issue a position paper
for the industry and provide documentation that iron oxide is not a carcinogen.
Table 1.—Salient iron oxide pigments statistics in the United States
1975 
1976 
1977 
1978 
1979 
Mine production short ton& —Crude pigments sold or used
do~   
Value thousands_Iron oxides from steel plant wastes short ton&. —
   Value thousand&Finished pigments sold short tons — 
  Value
thousands —Exports short tons~    Value thousands~Imports for consumption
short tons. —    Value thousands._ 
48,335 
40,154 
$1,093 
19,252 
$1,102 
104,840 
$46,206 
8,780 
$2,523 
27,979 
$9,184 
66,848 
59,636 
r$1626 
21,403 
$1,258 
135,915 
$64,506 
5,805 
$3,353 
50,102 
$16,554 
59,233 
55,953 
r$2,143 
~2lo24 
r$1,844 
140,707 
$73,851 
6,493 
$4,065 
58,694 
$20,596 
84,796 
75,967 
$2,799 
20,924 
$1,396 
152,510 
$81,830 
7,064 
$6,649 
70,549 
$24,706 
87,869 
74,548 
$2,578 
25,186 
$1,703 
156,036 
$94,175 
4,852 
$7,359 
55,377 
$24,341 
r~ 


Go up to Top of Page