Antimony (Sb) is classified as a minor metal, growing in strategic importance. Over 90% of supplies of antimony metal come from China. The European Union, the United States of America and Japanese economies are import dependent on the metal. The main use for antimony nowadays is as a tri-oxide additive in the chemical and plastics industry as a “synthesizer” for flame retardant compounds, the use of which is driven by regulatory Health and Safety standards
|Standard state||solid at 298 K|
|CAS Registry ID||7440-36-0|
|Group in periodic table||15|
|Period in periodic table||5|
|Block in periodic table||p-block|
|Colour||silvery lustrous, grey|
Antimony metal is used as an alloy hardener as well as in metallurgical applications. Antimony metal is also the raw material of antimony oxide.
Antimony Trioxide is primarily used as a fire retardant in plastic insulations as well as electronic devices and household appliances. Sb2O3 can be used as a filling agent for various rubber, ceramic and fibre products and as a pigment in oil paints and as a catalytic agent in organic synthesis.
Antimony acetate is primarily used as catalyst for poly-condensation of polyester. Antimony acetate improves the poly-condensation time, especially in continuous processes and significantly reduces impurity levels in PET resin
Antimony metal is used as an alloy hardener as well as in metallurgical applications. Antimony metal is also the raw material of antimony oxide
The evolution of the liquid metal battery is a story of a novel technology originally conceived in a diﬀerent economic and political climate to provide ﬂexibility in addressing the constraints of a society just entering the nuclear age and with aspirations to electrify the everyday experience. Ironically, it is these same massive research projects that receded into obscurity that can now be resurrected and reinvented as an exciting opportunity for addressing society’s ambitions for both sustainable and environmentally benign energy. In contrast to the public’s demand for the constant improvement of high-performance lithium-ion batteries for portable electronics (Chalamala, B. R, 2007), liquid metal batteries are instead the story of a society catching up with a technology far ahead of its time. To read on follow the link:
(1) Chalamala, B. R. Proc. IEEE 2007, 95, 2106.
Scientists from the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have proposed a novel triple-junction solar cell with the potential to break the 50 per cent conversion efficiency barrier.
Visual Capitalist has put together a beautiful infographic for antmony.
According to the USGS, in 2008, some 40% of the antimony consumed in the U.S. was used in fire retardants. The remainder was accounted for thusly: transportation, including batteries, 22%; chemicals, 14%; ceramics and glass, 11%: and, others, 13%
Dr Sadoway presentation from MIT
Antimony compound usage is diverse in industry as a trioxide Recycling of tri-oxides is not possible Annual demand has been rising 4%-5%pa range for tri-oxide Antimonal lead is still commonly used in car batteries
The European Union have identified antimony as a critical raw material. The USA and Japan are also almost entirely import dependent on antimony and do not have strategic stockpiles
Prices have risen due to shortages from China. European delivery prices are nearer U$15,000 per tonne at present Tri-oxide prices usually trade at a 15% - 18% premium to metal content
ANTIMONY AS A STRATEGIC METAL
Antimony prices have risen due to shortages from China. European delivery prices are nearer US$14,000 per tonne currently.
The EU has identified antimony as a critical raw material, whilst the US and Japan are also entirely import dependent on antimony and do not have any strategic stockpile.
Antimony prices remain firm and, are seen to hold in a 13-18 000 $/t range subject to worldwide industrial activity by industry specialists
The British Geological Society listed antimony in 1st place on its 2011 risk list, looking at the current supply risk index for chemical elements.
ANTIMONY SUPPLY & DEMAND
Please visit antimonyworld.com for a world view of past and present producers and suppliers of Antimony.
Information based on Roskill report 2012
In the next 10 years the Chinese are expected to move from a net exporter of Antimony to a net importer.
Supply is dominated by China, accounting for over 90% of world metal production over the past decade. China maintains export quotas on antimony and its compounds such as antimony tri-oxide.
Minerals 2010 2011 2012
Tungsten and products 14,300 15,700 15,400
Tin and products 21,000 18,900 18,000
Antimony and products 57,500 60,300 59,400*
Molybdenum 25,500 25,500 25,000
Indium 233 233 231
Alumina 930,000 830,000 -
Silver 5,100 5,670 5,387
Phosphate Rock 1,500,000 1,500,000 -
Pulvis Talci 610,000 680,000 -
SiC 216,000 216,000 -
Calcined and electrofused magnesite 1,330,000 1,230,000 -
Worldwide known reserves are be 2.1m tonne of metal (11 years consumption) (USGS) China has the majority of known metal reserves.
Antimony (Sb –stibnite) is a very scarce mineral