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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Indium  is a chemical element with chemical symbol In and atomic number 49.
  • This rare, soft, malleable and easily fusible poor metal is chemically similar to aluminium or gallium but more closely resembles zinc .
  • Its current primary application is to form transparent electrodes from indium tin oxide in liquid crystal displays.
  • It is widely used in thin-films to form lubricated layers. It's also used for making particularly low melting point alloys, and is a component in some lead-free solders

Application

  • The major application of indium is in automobile bearings to improve moisture resistance and antiseizure properties. It is also used in the semiconductor industry.
  • In this application, indium acts as a doping agent in the formation of p-type germanium.Indium is also used in plating applications due to its electrolytic properties, and in the production of electroluminescent panels, as an oxide.
  • Pure indium is used as a material for nuclear reactors due to it neutron-capture capacity - as well as indium oxide as a glass material for nuclear technique: -(33% of boron oxide, 55% cadmium oxide and 12% indium oxide).
  • Indium added alloys are used as dental alloys, but no evidence of their embryotoxicity risk has been reported.

Extraction

  • Indium is now recovered as a by-product of a wider range of base metals including tin, copper and other polymetallic deposits.
  • Indium is also now being extracted and recovered from base metal concentrates containing as little as 100 ppm of indium.
  • Base metal smelters are improving the extraction process of indium from concentrates. Concentrates with lower indium contents are more commonly processed.
  • The indium concentration both in aqueous and in the organic (TMB) phases was determined by complexometric titration (EDTA) using the xylenol orange as indicator in an acetate buffered solution at pH = 3.81 at ∼ 80◦C.

Report

  • At the end of 2002 prices were at as low as US$70/kg despite steadily increasing demand, largely due to more than adequate supplies of low-priced material from China.
  • Prices are expected to continue to rise through 2004 to reach US$250-300/kg, an increase which is likely to encourage more widespread recovery of indium from secondary materials and widen the supply base.
  • Roskill Information Services Ltd., supply potential also increased as producers increased recovery rates of indium from smelter flue dusts and residues at lead-zinc metallurgical plants to take advantage of higher prices.

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