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Information @ a Glance

General
  • Iodine is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol I and atomic number 53. Chemically, iodine is the least reactive of the halogens, and the most electropositive halogen after astatine. 
  • Iodine is a dark-gray/purple-black solid that sublimes at standard temperatures into a purple-pink gas that has an irritating odor. This halogen forms compounds with many elements, but is less active than the other members of its Group VII (halogens) and has some metallic-like properties. Iodine dissolves easily in chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, or carbon disulphide to form purple solutions (It is only slightly soluble in water, giving a yellow solution). The deep blue color of starch-iodine complexes is produced only by the free element.

Production Process

  • Iodine is produced through a "blow-out" process. This is the process where one of the characteristics of iodine, that is, to easily evaporate is made use of. Iodine contained in brine in the form of iodine compound ions (I-) is limited, more or less 100ppm and the process is suited for the extraction of iodine from such low content solution. Sand and other impurities are first removed from brine by sedimentation and an oxidant is added to it to extricate iodine (I2) and then air is introduced to "blow it out". After that, iodine is extracted, crystallized and purified.

Technology

  • The goal of an iodine-based teat dip is to elevate the level of "free" iodine for maximum germ-killing speed and power, while improving its stability within the formulation. I-tech is a technological breakthrough offering dairy producers superior mastitis control. It provides more "free", thus greater killing power. Tests have proven that teat dips with I-tech can kill more germs in 15 seconds or less than conventional iodine teat dips kill in a minute or more. 

Applications

  • One of the oldest and largest uses for iodine is in the disinfectant area. An almost universally known product is "tincture of iodine" for household disinfectant use. Certain iodides have found use in the catalyst system for producing stereospecific polymers such as polybutadiene rubber. Also the dehydrogenation of butane and butylene to butadiene has been shown to be catalyzed by iodine that is also useful in polymer production.
  • Other applications of iodine are as food supplements, X-ray contrast media, radioactive tracers, photographic processing chemicals, constituent of cutting fluids use in heavy machinery. The element is also used in metallurgy with titanium, silicon, zirconium and hafnium.

Market

  • Iodine-131 is currently being used for the treatment of and diagnosis of various diseases related to the thyroid such as hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer, and has latterly come to prominence as a source of radiation in a new radiopharmaceutical for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
  • The total US market for therapeutic radioactive iodine products is estimated to range between $14 and $18 million, but could be heading for growth as a new generation of radiopharmaceuticals for cancer reach the market.
  • The demand for salt increases with growth of population as well as with the development of industries. Apart from human consumption, chemical industry is a large bulk consumer of salt for chlor alkali manufacture. In the developed countries, industrial requirements are several times the edible consumption. In the USA for instance nearly 97% of the total production of approximately 40 million tons is used for non-edible purposes.

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