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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Manganese is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Mn.

  • It has the atomic number 25. It is found as a free element in nature (often in combination with iron), and in many minerals.

  • Manganese is a gray-white metal, resembling iron.

  • It is a hard metal and is very brittle, fusible with difficulty, but easily oxidized.

  • Manganese metal and its common ions are paramagnetic.

  • Manganese is a metal with important industrial metal alloy uses. Manganese ions are variously colored, and are used industrially as pigments and as oxidation chemicals.

  • Manganese metal is ferromagnetic only after special treatment. The pure metal exists in four allotropic forms. The alpha form is stable at ordinary temperature; gamma manganese, which changes to alpha at ordinary temperatures, is said to be flexible, soft, easily cut, and capable of being bent.

Applications

  • Manganese has played a key role in the development of various steelmaking processes and its continuing importance is indicated by the fact that about 90% of all manganese consumed annually goes into steel as an alloying element.

  • Manganese is a key component of low-cost stainless steel formulations and certain widely used alumimum alloys.

  • Manganese dioxide is also used as a catalyst.

  • Manganese is used to decolorize glass and make violet coloured glass. Potassium permanganate is a potent oxidizer and used as a disinfectant.

  • Other compound that find application are Manganese oxide (MnO) and manganese carbonate (MnCO3): the first goes into fertilizers and ceramics, the second is the starting material for making other manganese compounds.

  • In the human body, manganese functions as an enzyme activator and as a component of metalloenzymes.

  • Manganese activates the enzymes responsible for the utilization of several key nutrients including biotin, thiamin, ascorbic acid, and choline.

Market

  • Total world production of manganese alloys reached 11.8 million metric tons.

  • Out of a manganese ore production of over 34 million tons per year, 13 million tons come onto the international market. A few producing countries, Australia, Brazil, Gabon and South Africa, account for over 85% of the world’s supply.

  • Today, most of the manganese requirements of industrialized countries are supplied in the form of alloys. As a result, the UK and Germany have has almost completely abandoned local production of manganese alloys and the USA is now only a minor producer. In Europe, countries such as France, Norway and Spain have continued to be large exporters of these ferro-alloys.

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