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Nickel is the chemical element with the atomic number 28, located in the 10th group on the periodic table. Nickel is a fairly abundant
element making about 0.008% of the Earth's crust and 0.01% of igneous rocks. It is assumed that there are large quantities of this
metal in the Earth's core.
The mineral forms in which nickel can be found are Nickeline (NiAs), Garnierite (Si4O13 [Ni, Mg]2 • 2 H2O), the latter being the most
common ore for the extraction of nickel. Sulphides can also be found, with the following iron and nickel sulphides being the most
important: Pentlandite and Pyrhotite (Ni, Fe)xSy. Other nickel minerals which can be found in nature are arsenides, silicates and
sulphoarsenides. Nickel is present in small amounts in plants and animals. It is present as well in small quantities in the sea water,
petroleum and most of the coal. Mines in Canada, Cuba and Russia are currently producing 70% of the world’s nickel consumption.
Other producers are Bolivia, Colombia, Puerto Rico, New Caledonia (overseas province of France) and the Dominican Republic.
The nickel obtaining process from sulphide ores is traditionally performed by pyrometallurgical methods obtaining nickel matte as
intermediate. This process mainly consists of two stages; the first is an oxidizing roasting to subsequently make a reduction to
metallic nickel through the Mond process.
Physical Properties
Atomic Number
Atomic Weight
Density (g/ml)
Boiling Point ºC
Melting Point ºC
Electronic Properties
2, 3
Electro negativity
Covalent Radius
Ionic Radius
Atomic Radius
Atomic Structure
Ionization Potential (eV)
Nickel is a silvery white, ductile and malleable hard metal. Its relative density to water at 20ºC is 8.90. It is only
moderately reactive. It is resistant to alkaline corrosion and does not ignite in coarse sizes, but very thin wires could
ignite. It is located above hydrogen in the electrochemical series. Nickel is slowly soluble in diluted acids releasing
hydrogen and in metallic form it is a strong reducing agent.
Nickel has a valence of +2 in most compounds, but it can also exist in several other oxidation states. Besides simple
compounds or salts, nickel forms a variety of coordination compounds or complexes. Most nickel compounds are green
or blue coloured due to hydration or other impurities binding to the metal.
Metallic Nickel is classified as a hazardous substance by the EU CLP Regulation as follows:
Carc. 2, H351
STOT RE 1, H372, Exposure route is not specified due to lack of necessary information.
Skins Sens. 1, H317
Metallic Nickel is not classified as a hazardous good for transportation.
Stainless steel, special alloys and alloys such as nickel brasses and bronzes and alloys with copper, chromium,
aluminium, lead, cobalt, silver and gold (Inconel, Incoloy, Monel, Nimonic).
Manufacturing rechargeable batteries, electric guitar strings and microphone capsules.
AlNiCo magnets.
Catalysts for oil refining and petrochemistry
C/José Lázaro Galdiano 4
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