Hydrometallurgy of cobalt
The chemistry of cobalt is strictly linked to the recycling of cemented carbide scraps. This strategic important raw material is needed for the production of hardmetal alloys as binder phase. Additionally cobalt is applied as alloying component in High-speed steels and superalloys like INCONEL. Further examples for the field of applications are catalysts, which are used for desulphurization in the petrochemical section, so called Hydrofiner.
Cobalt is a quite seldom element. It comprises only about 0.004% of the earth´s crust. The well-known cobalt deposits are located in political unstable regions, for example in the Republic Kongo. This country is the biggest producer of cobalt bearing ores. Because of it´s outstanding role in the high technology sector it is very important for the western world to have technologies for keeping the raw material circuit closed.
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