<al Additives in, e.g., smelting, plating. C" Includes indium tin oxide (ITO) layers on glass.
is used among others for permanent magnets, as an alloying element, in opto-electronics (photoreceptor, laser diode, infrared detector, flash memory), for catalysts (synthetic fibers), and in PV. Cobalt use is continuously growing, particularly for application in rechargeable batteries (NiMH, Li ion, or Li polymer type), which are a key component for next generation hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as in consumer electronics. Moreover, cobalt is used in combination with Re or PGM in gas-to-liquid (GTL) catalysis, for magnetic data storage, in hard metal alloys, and in super alloys.
These few examples illustrate that the use of technological solutions to build up a more sustainable society depends to a large extent on sufficient access to technology metals, a trend that will further accelerate their demand (Halada et al. 2008). This is a pretty recent development: 80% or more of the cumulative mine production of PGMs, Ga, In, REE, and Re has occurred over the last thirty years. For most other special metals, more than 50% of their use took place in this period, and even for the "ancient metals" (Au, Ag), use after 1978 accounts for over 30%. A good example is the use of Pt, Pd, and Rh in automotive catalysts, which account today for over 50% of their annual mine production. A tenfold increase in demand, from 30 t in 1980 to almost 300 t in 2008 (Figure 10.1), illustrates this development.
Similar to automotive catalysts, the introduction of other new (mass) products such as LCDs, PCs, and mobile phones has triggered the exponential increase in demand of the technology metals (Figure 10.2). Furthermore, technologies like thin fi lm PV depend on the availability of In, Se, and Te, fuel cells need Pt, and so forth. A decoupling of the specific use of these technology metals from economic growth is not likely, as opposed to ferrous and base metals which are widely used in infrastructure. In addition, we can expect that developing economies will have an over-proportional need for these metals in the near future, and that this will impact price developments as well. Table 10.3
million units 1000 H
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