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Information @ a Glance

General
  • Cobalt is a brittle, hard metal, resembling iron and nickel in appearance. It has a metallic permeability of about two thirds that of iron. Cobalt tends to exist as a mixture of two allotropes over a wide temperature range. The transformation is sluggish and accounts in part for the wide variation in reported data on physical properties of cobalt.
  • Cobalt is a naturally occurring element found in rocks, soil, water, plants, and animals. When found in nature cobalt is not radioactive. There are 4 isotopes* of cobalt which are all radioactive and created by humans, in either a linear accelerator if it is to be used for commercial or medical purposes, or indirectly as a by-product of nuclear reactor operations, when structural materials such as steel are exposed to neutron radiation.
Technology
  • COBALT (Claus Oxygen Burner Air Liquide Technology) is a new primary burner for Sulfar Recovery Units (Claus Units) developed by Air Liquide for improved ammonia destruction and increased flexibility.
Market
  • The cobalt market is dynamic but small in comparison with other base metals. Consumers purchase cobalt through negotiated agreements, bids and open markets from producers, traders and to a lesser degree, government stockpiles and private inventories.
  • Cobalt consumption in 1995 was only 24,000 tonnes, but grew to 55,000 tonnes in 2005, or a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.6% for the 10-year period
Uses
  • Cobalt is also used in other magnetic steels and stainless steels, and in alloys used in jet turbines and gas turbine generators. The metal is used in electroplating because of its appearance, hardness, and resistance to oxidation.
  • 60Co is used in many common industrial applications, such as in levelling devices, thickness gauges, and in radiotherapy in hospitals. Large sources of 60Co are increasingly used for sterilisation of spices and certain foods by a process that is sometimes called cold “pasteurisation”.
  • Cobalt Salts of the higher carboxylic acids are used to accelerate drying in oil-based paints, varnishes and inks.

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