This disclosure relates to an improved process for preparing titanium tetrachloride comprising reacting ores comprising metal oxides with chlorine and a carbon compound at a temperature of about 900\xb0 C. The composition may comprise purified fruit andor vegetable color juices. Furthermore, the multistage reactor may be a single unit having both the WGS reactor and the methanation reactor. An annular sleeve is attached about the shank adjacent to and in non-contacting relationship with the trailing end of the cutting tip.