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Manga Socoroma | Overview  | Application


Approximately 90 percent of manganese is consumed in steel production. Steel production is forecast to grow this year by seven percent. Recently Lakshmi Mittal, the CEO of the world’s largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT) stated, “Any substantial slowdown is still many years away.” The added demand from the steel industry coupled with new demand from batteries will require significant tonnage to be supplied to the market.

Currently, there are no suitable substitutes for manganese in steel production and as such the world demand for manganese depends directly on the needs of the steel industry. There are numerous grades of steel and each requires a different amount of manganese. Unit consumption is determined by calculating the average requirement of manganese per ton of steel. Today, the average unit consumption for industrialized countries is a little over 7.5 kg of manganese per ton of steel. Global demand for steel is driven in turn by housing construction, the automobile industry and general infrastructural constructions. Due to the positive average annual economic growth and increasing industrialization globally, all three categories are expected to continue to expand in the decades to come.

Manganese Alloys:

Today, most of the manganese requirements of industrialized countries are supplied in the form of alloys. In Europe, countries such as France, Norway, Slovakia and Spain have continued to be large exporters of Mn ferro-alloys. Other major exporting countries are China, South Korea and Australia in the Asia-Oceania region; the Ukraine and Kazakhstan in the CIS, South Africa, as well as Brazil and Mexico in the Americas. Japan, Russia and the USA all produce ferro-alloys as well but these are used primarily in domestic consumption. Mn alloys are also produced in smaller amounts in other countries, where they are usually consumed in that country’s domestic steel production.

With the exception of Japan, where steelmakers developed about ten years ago the direct use of manganese ores, most of the manganese ore used by the steel industry is processed into suitable metallic alloy forms.

Manganese ore needs to be processed into alloys with high manganese content. The most important of these alloys are high carbon ferromanganese (HC FeMn), refined ferromanganese (RF FeMn) and silico manganese (SiMn) alloys. The standard grade of SiMn contains 14-16% Si, 65-68% Mn, with about 2% carbon. Lower carbon levels result when the silicon content is increased. Special grades with up to 30% Si are produced for use in the manufacture of stainless steel. World production of SiMn was about 7.3 million MT in 2009. Another alloy is electrolytic manganese. Approximately 1.2 million MT of electrolytic manganese metal was produced in 2009, with China accounting for over 95% of production

New Markets

New and developing technologies have created New- Markets (

for manganese, particularly electrolytic manganese (MnO2), which can help bolster the metal in the future. Lithium-manganese batteries, already in use in vehicles such as the Chevy Volt, and the Nissan Leaf, have provided an exciting new market for the metal.

With the discovery of a new process using nanotechnology, performance of manganese-based super conductors can be dramatically inproved. The researchers at Stanford University have wrapped a graphene and manganese cathode with ‘conductive wrapping’ that boosts the ability to store a charge by 20-45 percent. This advancement may trickle down to consumer applications; however, the researchers are looking towards large scale energy storage.

“The hybrid electrode system we developed in this work shows promise for large-scale energy storage applications,” stated research team member Guihua Yu, adding, “bothgraphene and MnO2 are attractive electrode materials given that both carbon and manganese are cheap and abundant. From the processing point of view, our coating method is solution-based and easy to scale up.”

Researchers for the Department of Energy at the Ames Laboratory are studying electrolytic manganese as a replacement for rare earth elements in magnets.

“The rare earth squeeze has made companies go full bore looking for alternatives, and manganese has been found to be one of the more diversified metals out there as an alternative. Researchers are looking to manganese to replace rare earths in magnets, and may even be stronger,” stated Reaugh.

The Ames Laboratory released information on their developments using manganese in magnet technology that “hold the potential to double the magnetic strength relative to current magnets while using raw materials that are inexpensive and abundant.”

These new technologies have the potential to dramatically increase the demand for manganese while decreasing the negative effects of fossil fuel energy use, something most people will agree may be the future of the world’s transportation and energy needs.

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