Rare Metal Investments – Molybdenum

rare metal investments - Bismuth

Molybdenum is in the C Basket.

Molybdenum can be called a martial and sensitive element, which was discovered by the Swedish chemist and mineralogist, Peter Jacob Hjelm in 1781. It experienced the greatest demand at the time of the two World Wars, when molybdenum alloys rendered maximum stability and temperature resistance to the armoured conduits. On the other hand, the element is considered to be hypersensitive – even impurities of one ten-thousandth of a percent of oxygen may render pure molybdenum very brittle.

However, this did not tarnish the popularity of the element, its outstanding features find a variety of applications in the industrialized world. Even some 230 years after its discovery, molybdenum is still categorically considered to be an industry metal. The high melting point, good heat resistance and its excellent conductivity are perfect for superalloys and for the manufacture of hard heat-resistant steel. It is found in valves and turbine blades of the aerospace industry as well as in the chemical industry; in drills and milling machines as well as catalysts for the petroleum processing plants. In addition, the metal is insensitive to the impact of reducing acids. Not only that: in powder form or blended with oil, the raw material withstands extreme pressures and temperatures, making it a high-performance lubricant of a special class.

This should bring good news to the People‘s Republic of China in particular: It is home to 38 percent of the reserves and the same percentage of the total production worldwide, which makes it the global market leader in both areas. Other large reserves are found in the U.S. and Chile, which also assume the places one and two in the production volume. Total of around 200,000 tonnes are produced worldwide, almost 30 percent of demand met by recycling.

Specifications

Element Symbol: Mo
Atomic mass: 95.94 amu
Atomic radius: 190 pm
Density: 10.28 g/cm³
Colour: Metallic Grey
Melting point: 2,623 °C
Boiling point: 4,639 °C
Heat of evaporation: 600 kJ/mol
Annual production worldwide approx.: 200,000 t.

Application

  • Alloying additive for increasing strength, corrosion and heat resistance
  • Thin-film transistors
  • Aircraft parts
  • Rocket parts
  • Catalyst for sulfur removal
  • Gas tight electrical lines in halogen and high-pressure gas discharge lamps
  • Radiopaque medium for x-rays